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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Coming to Grips with my Depravity

I was praying and discussing things with Pastor Daniel when I realized something:

Conviction about my pride is what God uses most to humble me.
I tend to take pride in my humility.

Though I may be the only one with this paradox, I know I am not the only one who considers himself inept (I think Paul would agree.) Isn't it amazing that God can use me, despite how messed up I am, to bring honor and glory to God!


  • At 11:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Some thoughts on pride:

    1) Self-deprecating humor is usually an indication of self-centeredness and gets annoying quickly. I discourage its use.

    2) There is a huge difference between pride and self-respect. Pride is a sin, self-respect is a virtue. Pride usually keeps us from doing the right things. Self-respect is a result of doing the right things.

    3) I think every believer should come to the point of being able to look in the mirror and say, "By the grace of God I am becoming a godly person." This is not pride, only a true assesment. And if its not true, then why not?

    4) True humility is mostly about knowing who God is, who I am, and how we relate to each other.

  • At 2:39 PM, Blogger Jeremy Bear said…


    (because I'm feeling toothy today)

    1) Kind of a harsh indictment. Some of the people I admire the most use self-deprecating humor extensively. I'll admit it, I use it a lot. I think it's okay. (But what do I know? I'm a lame-brained loser.)

    2) The difference might be huge, but it's huge and awfully gray. Can't pride also be the result of doing the right things? And is pride always a sin? I take terrific pride not only in the accomplishments and character of my loved ones, but also in a few of my own accomplishments. Sometimes that pride encourages me to keep going. It doesn't make me better than God and, truly, I don't think it takes away from God to say, "I worked very hard to acheive this outcome. I'm proud of it. Now I'm working on another outcome that I hope to be equally proud of."

    3) Surely you can see the stickiness with this statement. Can you honestly picture anyone ever saying this to themselves in the mirror with any measure of humble sincerity? It's a statement I never want to make to myself in the mirror, no offense, because the minute I say it, I'll know it's a lie.

    4) Can humility exist apart from a relationship with God? If not, why not? I know a few humble people who couldn't care less about God.

    Don't take any of this personally. Just a few assertions.

  • At 10:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    On self-deprecating humor:
    It can be a defense mechanism to mask a lack of confidence. If I ridicule myself then I beat others to the punch and unload the guns that might be pointed in my direction. I was confronted on this a few years back by a brother in Christ for whom I have great respect. I found that when I went from being youth pastor to senior pastor people weren't as amused by my humorous disclaimers about not really knowing anything or being anything. If I was going to lead them, they wanted to know that I had some level of spiritual maturity. If I didn't, then I really had no business standing in front of them or pretending to lead them.
    Which indirectly lead to the observation in point three. Who can honestly read the qualifications for elders in Timothy and Titus and say, "Yep, that's me?" And yet there are those who allow themselves to become elders. I can't take any credit for any godliness that may be in my life, but I can't deny that there is some there. I think humility is the ability to acknowledge what God has done and give Him the credit for it.

    BTW I used to take criticism personally and thought that criticism equals rejection. Now I tend to take it as an expression of interest and as a compliment. Thanks.


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