Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Lines of Sight

Everyone draws different lines in their life. We draw lines of behaviors, of attitudes, of sin and personal holiness. We draw lines of values and ethics and decisions in our lives daily, if not moment by moment. But some lines in our lives are closer than others. Some lines seem, upon first glance to be polar opposites, when in reality they are different sides of the same coin.

I was thinking about this last night as I had a conversation with Alana. We were talking about different aspects of life and got onto the subject of pride and self-worth. The more we talked the more we were able to unpack a little that those two things are deeply tied together.

When we think of pride we usually think of arrogance or overconfidence. We see the cocky pro athlete or the actress with the entourage and we see that in their eyes the universe revolves around their every move. Pride is deceptively wicked. Scripture warns us of pride in many different places (Proverbs 8:16; Isaiah 2; James 4:4-6).

On the flip side is the attitude of low self-worth. People are depressed, circumstances have gone against them and they feel worthless. Instead of being the light in the room, they prefer to bring a dark cloud around everyone. They don’t see themselves as God sees them as a unique and wonderful creation of His (Psalm 139).

Both of these ideas seem to be opposite ends of the spectrum, but I have come to realize that they are more closely tied than we imagine. The problem with both of these instances is a problem of vision: we have an “I” problem. In both pride and low self-worth we place ourselves at the center of the issue. We focus on us and not on the eternal God who loves and shapes us. It is not until we get our eyes off of ourselves and our circumstances that we can truly see the delight and the joy that comes from following Christ.

If you are like me, you suffer from both of these problems. At times pride and arrogance blind you to the reality of the world around you. We think more highly of ourselves than we should. Or at times we beat ourselves up because we are not perfect. Both cause us to cast our vision on earthly ideas or earthly issues.

In order to overcome this issue we must begin to look eternally at life. We must train our spiritual eyes to look at the eternal reality of the world around us.

“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we are in.”
Hebrews 12:2 (The Message)

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