Who are YOU?

That was fun,” the boy said as we left an awards ceremony where his achievements were recognized. It was fun to enjoy the reward of his real efforts. However, I smiled as he said it because he had unconsciously touched on a part of being human that can lead to folly.

Recognition does feel good, doesn’t it? There can be a downside to thanks and awards if they become more important to us than faithfulness and obedience to our Father.  Being recognized, gaining the approval of others, can turn into an addiction, making people play the fool, pretending to be what they are not, telling stories that are not true– just to impress other.  We can know that pride is taking root when we find ourselves measuring yourself against others in an endless game of comparison.

It feels great to be voted ‘most liked,’ or ‘most successful’ and there is nothing wrong with those things, if the desire to gain recognition is not allowed to own us. But, how quickly pride can take charge causing us to ‘buy things we don’t need to impress people we don’t like.’   Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, makes this wry observation: “I’m not against people having new cars. I’m against them having you. We spend a tremendous amount impressing somebody at the stoplight who we’ll never meet. It makes you broke and keeps you broke.” Pride can run out of control and turn a person into a fraud, a  ‘wanna-be’ who is incapable of finding God’s best in this day. Pride can steal the meaning of life where we are by causing us to think that we must turn into someone else to make others admire us.

The Bible says that Jesus was born a nobody, came from nowhere, had no degrees. He did not seek Jerusalem’s favor and cared little for applause. Isaiah had prophesied that the Messiah would be a man without “beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” (Isaiah 53:2-3, NIV) Jesus lived in the center of His Father’s will, content to be obedient. The Word says this about Him- He was “in very nature God, (but, He) did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” (Philippians 2:6-7, NIV) Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name!” (Philippians 2:9, NIV)

Disciple, find joy in being who God calls you to be, in the place where God places you, with the people that God surrounds you.

If God makes you a king, then rule diligently.
If He makes you a servant, then serve with your whole heart.

Contentment is a choice we make each day and part of that choice includes recognizing the deadly seduction of pride. Now let’s not confuse contentment with complacency. If you choose to give up on life and drift along in mediocrity, do not call that contentment. Contentment is learning to be all that Christ has called us to be, using the gifts the Spirit has given us in the best ways, serving well. The focus, however, is not the applause of others. It is to please the One who knows us best and loves us most!

Choose humility as your way of life. Humility is found in being content to belong to God while being confident in His promise.

Here’s a word from the Word, wisdom about doing well for the right reasons and the certainty of enjoying the best reward.

“If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else,” (Galatians 6:3-4, NIV)  So, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9-10, NIV)


Who You Say I Am
(Worship with this song that sets our sights higher)

Who am I that the highest King
Would welcome me
I was lost but He brought me in
Oh His love for me
Oh His love for me

 Who the Son sets free
Oh is free indeed
I’m a child of God
Yes I am

 Free at last
He has ransomed me
His grace runs deep
While I was a slave to sin
Jesus died for me
Yes He died for me

 In my Father’s house
There’s a place for me
I’m a child of God
Yes I am

 I am chosen not forsaken
I am who You say I am
You are for me not against me
I am who You say I am

 (Oh) (Yes) I am who You say I am

Ben Fielding | Reuben Morgan © 2017 Hillsong Music Publishing Australia (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) CCLI License # 810055

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