Weak and Proud!

The past weeks have been crazy and tiring. First, it’s tiring because… well, it’s just point-blank tiring.  It has been physically and mentally draining. Haha, I guess it merits no further explanation.

Next, it’s crazy.  It’s crazy, primarily because I don’t know why people call me up or send me messages in order to invite me to do things that I perceive I’m not so much capable of doing.   And part of that list of things that I wish I would not do is speaking in front of big crowds.

I’d qualify a “big crowd” as a group consisting of more than twenty people, believe me or not.  This may not be the same for everyone. That’s just my personal definition of it, despite me being noted as a “people person”. If you’re familiar with “Solving the People Puzzle”, in the DISC paradigm, the “I” (for Influence) is the only component that remains recessive. Mostly on weekends, you’d find me at either Red Ribbon or Bo’s Coffee in Madrigal or Molito area teaching in a small group setting (with about not more than ten people).  If a crowd would be asked who among them are the “small group” people, I might as well raise my hand.  I guess, I was just wired that way.

When year 2012 opened, however, the Lord has been nudging me to go out of my “comfort zone” in an entirely new level.  Speaking engagements here. Then, teaching tasks there.  Mentoring people, and the list goes on.  I have to admit that it could get scary and that it unnerves me, knowing that there could be a bunch of guys out there more fit for the job.  Yet the Lord really has His own unique ways of teaching me that as His disciple – I should deny myself, take up His cross, and follow Him.  It’s never easy, but in this manner, He is the One placed on the pedestal.  Not me.  He’ll be the one who is going to enable me to do the task; and as a result, His glory shines brightest!

Now, here’s a realization: He equips those whom He calls. (And I’m pertaining to every Christ follower, not just the ordained or those in professional full-time ministry.)  He provides and cares for us.  He leads us by His loving hand! Given all these truths, I am secure that He will carry me from Point A going to Point B.  He’ll definitely make sure that He gets the job done in me and through me!

What’s our part, then, in this case?  Admit your weakness, and declare Your dependence unto Him.  Let God work His way in your life, and allow Him to use you for His glory.

Is it going to be easy? Nope, since there are a lot of risks involved. 

How long will the process take? The answer’s indefinite, but certainly not overnight.

Is it really wise to depend on Him? Well, if you pledge allegiance with Jesus, then it’s going to be the wisest choice you’ll ever make in your life.

So today, I humbly confess that I’m weak, that I should shun pride, and that I desperately need the Lord.  Like the apostle Paul, I shall boast of my being weak.  Why?  It is because God’s grace is sufficient and His power is made perfect in our weakness.  It may sound like a paradox for the majority since the world does not normally operate this way.  However, God can only break through in the lives of people whose hearts are totally abandoned to Him.

Perhaps, the Lord is asking you to let go of your pride or of too much control.  Maybe those are things that stand between you and Him at this moment, don’t you think?

I pray you’d take that life-changing step of faith today.

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It’s Never Really About Me.

Before anything, I just want to thank the Lord for the long weekend!  It’s just refreshing to have been able to rest, relax, and reflect longer than the usual.  It’s such a blessing!

Okay, I think I need to get started before I get carried away. Haha!  So, let’s begin.

About two or three days ago, I started to read and meditate on the first letter of Paul to the Corinthian church with a focus on chapters 12-14.  Surprisingly, it was what our lead pastor (P. Lito Villoria) largely covered on when he preached his sermon last Sunday!  I perceived that as God’s affirmation of what He has been teaching me recently.  The said passages in 1 Corinthians mainly talk about spiritual gifts, by the way.  And I must say “divine appointments”, such as that, are pretty mind-boggling and overwhelming!

I remember writing, a couple of weeks back, about people who embrace the “I’m-just-not-good-enough” attitude (refer to “WANTED: Ordinary people”).  And today, I sensed the prompting to conversely write on the “I’m-more-than-enough” mentality.  I’d like to tell you more about it, if you may.

Here’s a personal account.  Many times in the past, some situations lead me into thinking that I could be an “all-around guy” after all.  I can sing.  I can teach.  I can preach.  I can write.  I think I’m good at giving sound advice.  If I’m passionate about something, I work hard to excel in it.  I can dance too (sadly)!  Kidding aside, these thoughts somehow led me to deceive myself instead.  Gradually, I clung to prideful thoughts.  Other than that, I’ve begun to subconsciously take care of pride like a “pet sin”.  I was just denying it, I guess.  It took time, guts, and much faith before I was able to honestly unearth and openly confess the matter before the Lord.

I was longing for people’s regard and affirmation.  I liked the attention.  These largely caused the problem, I observed.  In short, I want my share of glory.  When I kept on denying that pride was not an issue for me, I had the following troubles related to it.  Here are most of them:

  1. Difficulty asking help from people.
  2. Keeping personal struggles to myself. It’s hard for me to share personal details, especially negative ones.
  3. Being easily frustrated when I don’t receive any credit.
  4. Trying to be somebody that I certainly am not.
  5. Unnecessary stress caused by the longing for people’s affirmation.

Some of which are highly interconnected if you noticed, but can you identify with at least one or two things I mentioned above?

At this point, I have to make it clear that some of them are not inherently wrong (i.e. being affirmed by people in what you do), okay?  However, 1 Corinthians 12-13 were one of the key eye-openers for me.  Even though this passage in Scripture does not directly deal with pride, it provides us a wider, deeper perspective why anyone can’t be called a “super-Christian” nor any individual be called a “complete package”.  Why?  Answer’s simple.  Each of us were designed and gifted differently.

It may sound cliché for a moment there, but a perspective that seems commonplace may be frequently neglected, right?  Hence, let’s dissect the idea a bit further.

Each individual has been designed differently. 

God has given every human being unique gifts. 

However, there’s a limitation there.  No one can possess everything.

So, what does this have to do with the problem of pride?

Scriptures say that spiritual gifts were for the building up of the body of Christ, the church.  Note that we serve as different parts of a single body.

Therefore, if one would just decide to accept the fact that he/she can’t have nor do everything on his/her own, pride should be set aside.  Pride is unnecessary.  What’s more thrilling to grasp is that if one would yield to the paradigm that all of us are merely helping each other, contributing to something larger than ourselves, then pride should be pushed out of the way.  Again, pride won’t be of any help at all.

This “I’m-more-than-enough” (or you could say, “I’m-overqualified”) life view limits our vision, primarily because all we see is but ourselves. In this manner, we simply feed our E-G-O.  However, only if we would just recognize and view each of us, as pieces of a ginormous mosaic – a God-sized canvas – that surpasses all comprehension, then the spotlight veers away from the poor puny egocentric “me”… towards the glory of the Maker and Giver of our gifts.

Is it bad to be recognized? Not at all!  Be thankful!

Yet we just need to be sold out to the fact that it’s really never about us. It’ll never will.  For from everlasting to everlasting, it was always about Him.