There is a very fine line between humility and self-deprecation, i.e., belittling or undervaluing oneself. That line is like spring-wire on a trap. Who’s trap? Good question.
Be sober, be vigilant;
because your adversary the devil
walks about like a roaring lion,
seeking whom he may devour.
1 Peter 5:8 NKJV
Humility is realizing my genuine need for God in every moment of every day to fill me with Himself so that I may be all that He created me to be. Without Him, I am like a light bulb with no power attached to it. It does not mean the light bulb itself is worthless.
To be blunt, I’m calling God a liar when I self-deprecate myself and call myself worthless. Father God paid a HUGE price to clear away all obstacles and hindrances that separate me from Him in order that we may spend eternity together. His actions tell me what He deems my worth. (John 3:16, Romans 8:32)
Where am I going with this? Glad you asked.
Today is Mother’s Day here in the United States. It’s a VERY big deal. It should be, after all Mother’s create space for life to happen in the womb and in the world.
I’ve never had a child. Enter the trigger wire. It’s very easy on this day for me to get focused on all the things I AM NOT. That is the path my enemy would like me to take in order to devour me, steal my energy and my hope.
What’s your trigger wire? What sends you down the path of focusing on what you are not? Is it your health, your weaknesses, your failures, your finances, lost loved ones, unreached goals, the successes of people around you, something else?
Some may say this is a discipline to motivate yourself to be better by focusing on what you are not. As I type this to you, I see this image of someone digging a deep hole at the start of a race, jumping in and saying this is the place I need to start … rather than on level ground at the starting line.
The bible does tell us to first examine the plank in our own eye, before trying to take the speck out of another person’s eye (Matt 7:3-4). So it does call us to know ourselves and to be honest with ourselves and with God about who we are – a work in progress that is completely loved by the Creator (Ephesians 2:9-10).
However, Jesus also tells us:
“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like it:
‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Did you catch it? “Your shall love your neighbor AS YOURSELF”. If we love ourselves by belittling and undervaluing ourselves, we are going to do the same to the people around us. Do you see how that could be a problem???
Fear not … the Owner’s Manual tells us how to live REAL without self-deprecation.
Don’t be anxious about things; instead, pray.
Pray about everything.
He longs to hear your requests,
so talk to God about your needs
and be thankful for what has come.
And know that the peace of God
(a peace that is beyond any and all of our human understanding)
will stand watch over
your hearts and minds in Jesus, the Anointed One.
Finally, brothers and sisters,
fill your minds with beauty and truth.
Meditate on whatever is honorable,
whatever is right,
whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely,
whatever is good,
whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy.
What those verses look like for me today are:
- This blog post is an answer to my prayers, i.e., my honest conversation with my Heavenly Father this morning about how I was feeling about myself and this day.
- I am thankful for His truth that sets me free to receive His love for me, to be able to love myself and to love those around me.
- I am filled with His peace in exchange for the agitation with which I woke.
- As I choose to focus on beauty and truth, what is honorable, right, pure lovely, good, virtuous and praiseworthy, my thoughts are flooded with images of my Mom; the many women I know that are mothers; and the opportunities that have been afforded to me to be the love of God to nurture and create space for life in the lives around me.
Our Heavenly Father can and wants to do the same for you, regardless of what “your trap” may be.
Click picture for slideshow.