Today’s blog is for anyone who is comfortable in their Christianity. Today’s blog is for anyone that is asleep in their Christianity. Today’s blog is for anyone that believes that high socio-economic status means you have life figured out. And finally, today’s blog is for any Christian of high socio-economic status who thinks you have life figured out and you know all the answers. I fit into all these categories for many years. I am still what the world would call someone of high socio-economic status, but that doesn’t matter. The condition of my heart is what mattered then, and it matters now. All the money and scripture knowledge in the world could not wake me up like Jesus has in these last few years. Please hear my heart. Keep reading.
I mentioned the other day in my blog about selfish faith vs. Jesus-centered faith (August 20th) that I am fully “woke” as they say. I woke up to the fact that my being raised in church, becoming a Christian early in life, growing up in a good home, going to college, and making a good living did not protect me from sin, pride, or anything else for that matter. The fact that I thought this kind of thing makes me shake my head in disbelief. Oh, how quickly our pride corrupts! Ladies and gentlemen, I thought because of where I’d come from and what I had that I had everything, and everyone else figured out. I passed out judgement in my own mind and openly at times like Santa passes out candy at Christmastime. I believed I had all the answers. I justified things I had no right to justify. I justified thought processes I had not right to justify. And worst of all, I justified my judgements I had no right to justify much less judge against a person. I was a prideful mess. Yes, you can love Jesus, and I did and still be full of pride. You can be nice to people and have friends and still be full of pride. When you are full of pride in areas of your life, loving others is difficult if not impossible, especially if they are hard to love. In fact, loving others in a prideful state of heart and mind is not first on your agenda, you are first on your agenda.
Does any of this sound familiar? I am not chastising anyone. I tell you all of this so you will not do what I did, so your heart will not become full of pride in the first place. Allow me to break this down further. All the money in the world will not save our souls or teach us how to love. All the scripture we memorize will not teach us how to love if we do not apply and put into action what we have learned. All the “right things”, “right people”, and “right places” can’t help you make good decisions or even protect you from yourself. I had all the “right things”, “right people”, and “right places” and still made some very poor decisions. I knew a lot of scripture, but I had not learned to know the One who wrote the scripture, so, I had not learned to love. I’ve always had money, but I have not utilized that God-given resource as effectively as I could have for the Kingdom, in fact I have squandered a lot of what he has given me on me over the years. I even laid down my God-given writing gift for 25 years to pursue what Elizabeth wanted. Do you see what I’m getting at today?
Do not be deceived as I was! I am here to tell you there is grace and forgiveness for our pride and our arrogance (yes Christians can be arrogant, I have been so). It has only been in these last few months that I realized how arrogant I had been in the past. If you let Jesus have your heart, He will get rid of all pride and arrogance and He will fill you up with Him! I can tell you being filled with Him and His love is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am walking in places I never thought I could and doing things I never thought I could do. I am ministering to people in ways I did not think were possible over 5 years ago. The truth is I did not believe I should minister to them because I had already “made my mind up” about a lot of people at that time. Oh, the arrogance! Who was I kidding? Just me. Jesus has a wonderful way of unveiling our hearts in a way that shows us exactly where we are wrong without condemning us in the process. He has certainly done this for me over a process of five years. I have never been more excited in my life about what is going to happen next!
I want to encourage you today to give up your arrogance and your pride, you don’t know everything Jesus knows about everything. I sure didn’t! Did you also know that with arrogance and pride comes fear? As I am writing this Jesus just showed me that. This is for someone because it applied to me too! Fear comes because you must keep up appearances and you are scared to death of people really knowing you. Fear comes because you must always “be right” and you are scared to death of being wrong. You are scared to death of destroying the glass house you have built for yourself and your family. The reality is, Jesus sees through our fear, arrogance and pride into our glass houses. Did you know that despite my pride and arrogance there was a time I could not look people in the eyes because of fear? He saw my fear and he saw through my glass house. He was not surprised and guess what? He wasn’t mad at me either. He’s not mad at you. He wants to take the pressure off you. He wants to love you and show you what love is. He wants to demolish your glass house and replace it with a house on the firm foundation of his love. The realization of this may bring you pain but on the other side of that pain is life, and life you will love!
Do not look to your money, your status or your Bible knowledge as your anchor! Look to Him as your anchor! He’ll have you long after your money and status are gone. He’ll teach you what scripture means, not just what is says. He will teach you to love, really love! He’ll take you into uncharted territory. You don’t have to be afraid! He’ll take all your fear too! Let go! A whole new world is going to open to you! I have said this many times before and I’ll say it again, you won’t regret it! Let go of what you think you know and let Jesus show you what He really knows!
1 Thessalonians 3:12
May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; Rather, serve one another humbly in love.