Sunday, September 16, 2012

Boasting (soap journal #4)


S) The scriptures say, "if you want to brag, then brag about the Lord." You may brag about yourself, but the only approval that counts is the Lord's approval. (2 Corn. 10: 17-18)
O) Everything about this world urges us to make a name for ourselves. We feel less than nothing if we cannot point to something and boast "this is what I do". I know I long for people's approval in everything I do. I do not need to be a slave to that!
A) I may not always know what God wants me to do--but I have God's approval. And it has nothing to do with what I accomplish...but what He has accomplished. That's all that matters--and I can brag! Brag about how good my God is. He deserves all glory and praise, not me.
P) I get depressed because I'm so focused on myself. I am sick to death of thinking about what a failure I me stop! I will look to you and find contentment. You are all I need--help me live it!

Looking at this now, I want to only point out one thing. I wrote that "the world" urges us to make a name for ourselves, and I still think that is true. But when I looked up this scripture in it's context, Paul is once again at war with religion. All this boasting he's warning of has to do with religious superiority.

I still fight with depression about feeling bad about myself, but not nearly as much as I did when I was a fundamentalist. It seems back then it was a sin to ever feel good about anything. The security I find in God's love for me--this is still what wins that battle in my mind. But I no longer have to worry about feeling guilty over feeling good about accomplishing things (or guilty about not accomplishing things...sheesh, talk about a no win situation)'s more of a freedom knowing that is not where my value lies.

Where does my value lie? "For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God."(Col. 3:3) My life hidden in true self, not yet revealed or known. What a beautiful mystery. 

I'll end with a quote a found on a website I really enjoy:

Instead of striving for significance in titles, honors, and success, as if those might gain us favor with God or man, we enjoy the knowledge that we are simply human beings loved by God. To live as a child is to live free of the self-justifications that adults use to prove their worth, and the heavy burden of self-consciousness about our status. To live like a child, says Jesus, is the only way to enter his kingdom.