Meditation: On Pride and the Unworthy Servant

It seems like a characteristic of any “winner” is pride. Pride drives “accomplishment” in life. The runner is driven to train harder, to go further in less time. Pride says, “see me – I did it.” And the inference is “don’t you think I’m amazing?” Pride says: “I feel awesome” after accomplishing that goal. Worse, pride tends to point out how others don’t have what it takes. Winners define losers.

Football metaphor: The ball is handed to the runner, tackles are broken at the line, evading the secondary defense the carrier passes the remaining players to cross into the end-zone. The celebration that ensues glorifies the ball-carrier and the team that called the play, made the blocks and worked so hard in preparation all pre-season. Crowds in the stands are either apoplectic in grief or delirious with joy. No one is left unaffected.

A year later, nobody remembers the moment. Seeing it again and again in replay gives just the slightest scent the initial impact. No sounds of cheering fans, no crush of players pumping fists — the echo is bitter sweet.

Pride lifts itself above others seeking recognition. Pride says “pick yourself up” and “help yourself.” Overcoming limitations. The shining individual effort. If something is wrong, fix it.

“OARSMEN” 1877. GUSTAVE CAILLEBOTTE

Humility says “Can I help?” and “I will lift you.” Humility is required for compassion. Humility exists when individuals can’t do it alone. Jesus was dependent upon the Father. We, on Jesus.

He is sufficient. Sufficiency? Am I satisfied by what is sufficient? Pride says “no.” I want more.

Humility says “Thank you.” His grace is sufficient when my individual effort doesn’t make the goal. But Humility also says “I don’t fault you for needing assistance.” A humble gift accepted with humility.

With Jesus? In failure, there is no: Condemnation, Judgement, Contempt, Deplorable Guilt.

Romans 8:1

Truth between believers (authentic ones) we abide the principle: “Blessed are the pure in heart, they shall see God.” And in the purity of heart we are finally free to just be what we are, to stop striving to be what we cannot. Humility anchors purity, it

Seldom do we enjoy such freedom.

No other agenda, no other purpose, no other score keeping system or hierarchy – Jesus is master, I am nothing but an unworthy servant. See Luke 16.

Unworthiness precedes the most precious Christian characteristic. Which is genuine humility.

In a recent conversation with a new Pastor.

AW Tozer said (and I paraphrase, needing to recollect only the principals)

  • Fight Sin
  • Let go of everything
  • Make no defense
  • Slander no one
  • Give God the glory

Here’s a relationship I truly desire. Someone to trust, someone to work with. Someone who trusts me to do my best and will cover for me when I’m unable to always live up to the best expectation. Someone I can cover for.

I’d like to row in the same boat. But what a rare boat that is.

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