Posted by: Don Linnen | 31 August 2017

Better Late Than Never

My testimony begins with: “there was a time in my life when I was a self-sufficient skeptic.” Talk of that skeptic will have to come another time. This is about something far worse.

Just how bad can self sufficiency be? Let me count the ways.

Thus begins your fourth dose of Ogilvie for the year.  From his Quiet Moments with God on Monday, the 28th, I paraphrase…

I desire to be adequate – actually beyond adequate – through my own physical and mental prowess. I desire to be admired by people because of my superior performance.

But I’ve FINALLY learned – better late than never – that pride pollutes everything it touches. It keeps me from growing spiritually, creates tension in my relationships, and makes me a difficult husband and a difficult father. It makes me a person difficult for God to bless. It separates me from God.

At last I face my spiritual pride as the root of this fake sense of religious superiority – my belief that my intellect and my strength is all that I really need. (That and going to church every Sunday. Okay. Almost every Sunday.)

It keeps me from humbly admitting my need for God’s power. If I think I can justify myself before God by my good works, I also can imagine I am sufficient for the challenges ahead.

Dear Lord, forgive me for any times I have exalted myself. That includes not just the fist pump, chest beat for the cornhole win in the backyard, but the imagined end-zone dance for the policy win at work. Heal the insecurity in me that prompts me to tout my talents and triumphs rather than exalting You and encouraging others.

Set me free from the bane of self sufficiency and fill my heart with the blessing of Your grace.

It took me a while (a few decades) to get here. That implies I’ve arrived.

I’ve not. But I’m finally getting closer.

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