My Smallness / God's Greatness

I have reread Chapter 3, "Just as we are," this week and am reminded of the ways this book spoke to my heart the first time I read it. I anticipate that we will have a lot of great discussion in our small group tonight.

In this chapter, Yancey speaks to several issues I reflect on continually. The first is humility. I long to be humble. I mean truly humble. I long to not think of myself and my interests; even, and sometimes especially, how I am viewed/perceived by others. In one Tim Keller sermon I listened to, he described humility not as thinking badly of yourself, but just not thinking of yourself. He said, "When you have been in the presence of a humble person, you will walk away thinking about how interested they were in you and how little they focused on themselves."

It seems the more I desire humility, the more glaringly I see my self focus.

It is at times discouraging to see ourselves for who we truly are. And yet, as Yancey writes under the "Guilty" heading, "Whenever I get depressed by a lack of spiritual progress, I realize that my very dismay is a sign of progress." And he makes a good point when he says, "I cannot receive healing unless I accept God's diagnosis of my wounded state. God already knows who we are; we are the ones who must find a way to come to terms with our true selves." This reminds me of an important aspect of our very salvation. We cannot be saved without understanding what we are saved from.

I used to view spiritual maturity as becoming stronger within myself, with God's help, of course. But the focus was on my performance. I still have a long way to go in the pursuit of spiritual maturity. But growth has come from realigning my perspective. It will never be about my strength or my abilities. And I realize now that any time I lose sight of my smallness and my true condition, I lose sight of God's greatness and His power. His strength is made perfect in my weakness. I was created to glorify HIM, not to be glorified in any way.

[God] does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
Psalm 103:10-14