Just thought I’d link up to a dream I found edifying.
I do not think we can hear this kind of thing enough. Pride is in my estimation one of our most insidious enemies. It has a capacity to worm its way secretly into just about any of our thoughts and actions. We can even be proud of our own humility!
Actually, I think this is one of the reasons to have a good sense of humour. You want to know the definition of a fanatic? Someone with no sense of humour. Why? Because they have no sense of proportion.
A sense of proportion is essential to a sense of humour, which in its turn is a great weapon against the kind of prideful building up of self which we can all indulge in, often without being aware of it.
Course, the real thing here is our utter need, our desperate need for God. Recently, I have become more and more aware of my various faults and foibles, and intensely aware that without God I would drown in them.
The best we are able to do in our own strength is to concentrate in one area where we can, possibly, whitewash it to the extent where it looks better from the outside. At the same time the half-dozen other things we are not aware of are steadily getting worse. Yes, without God we are truly lost and ruined. It is His grace, I think, that opens our eyes to our true state.
Certainly recently it seems that there has been an alarming increase in the number of areas in which I fall short. 😉 Indeed, I thank God for it!
Anyway, in dealing with pride, C S Lewis mentioned spiritual pride as being the very worst sort of pride, and one to which religious people easily fall prey to. As Christians we have grace – mercy and forgiveness undeserved, which can help somewhat in this area. However it is easy for pride to rear its ugly head in other areas, as in the dream, areas of our ‘ministry’.
I know, from experience, that once you invest something of yourself in any area of ministry, there is a corresponding danger of idolatry. You’ve put your time and money into something, and you feel that you partly own it. Pride in ‘my’ ministry is never far away then.
The antidote? Give it over to God. Not superficially – give it over and do not complain if you do not get it back. You may indeed get it back, and find your fruit-picking ability enhanced a hundred-fold. However you may, like in the dream, find yourself a picking fruit in an entirely different place, one with a much reduced perception of glory and honour. Would you do this?
The analogy of migrant fruit picker is a good one, for it is what we are called to be, even if we do not fully realise it. Migrant labourers in a world not our own, seeking to pick some of the fruit for our Father. Let’s never forget that!