Have you ever had things about yourself that elicited such deep shame for you that you would do anything to remove the blemish they created? I have had many things; things that I felt compelled to cover up.
Envy has been one of them. Inside I was saying I want to be like you; I despise who I am because I am not what I think I should be. Since I can not be the version of me that I want to be, I will try to be everything that is attractive about you. This is my last hope of being special.
Gluttony has been another sin I felt consumed by, and yet unable to confess. I spent years of my life thinking of food as my first object. When I woke up in the morning I was set on preparing the meal I had went to sleep planning for myself. I refused to turn to God for comfort when I was grieved. I also refused to let Him be the center of my interest when I knew I lacked something meaningful to live for.
Idolatry figured largely in my addiction to food, but it was also fed by other things when that wasn’t the first thing on my mind. I was convinced that God could not be everything to me, so I made myself an indentured servant to other gods that seemed to offer more pleasure than I could get with Him by means that were more desirable to me.
Or how about gossip? This was just one more of those sins that other people were guilty of; guilt that God’s grace could not be enough to cover in my place. I believed that He and I just expected too much of myself for me to go ahead and engage in such crude and common behavior. Imagine my surprise when I began to realize that the intentions of my heart in conversation was not as pristine as I thought!
Add to this list self-righteousness, judgment, fear, jealousy, hate, and all the evidences of a lack of love and you should have no shortage of things to chew on. But this sin-celebration wouldn’t be complete without the cake that holds all these brightly burning candles in place. The reason why I could not trust God in what He wanted to do in my heart was because my pride.
I would not let Him reveal to me my true appearance. I could not allow Him to remove my sand foundation from beneath me and insist that He build me up on a foundation of rock. I would need to be too vulnerable if I could not depend on my appearance. God wanted me to take on His appearance, but that offer wasn’t worth it to me if I couldn’t look beautiful for who I was without Him.
Have you ever had a trial that put pride to death in serious ways? For the past six months I have gotten to know just how creative God can be in unbinding the fetters of our idols and setting us free to worship only Him. Though it has been the hardest thing I have gone through so far, it has been necessary to my growth in Christ, necessary to my understanding of the gospel, necessary to reflecting the image of the Only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.