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Grace for the Conceited

Posted on April 9, 2019
By Mike Harper
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Conceited? Not me! How about you?

Okay, let’s take a group selfie and have an unbiased look at ourselves. (Is that even possible?)

Ask yourself if you’ve ever found yourself defending your position? Insulted by an unkind word? Hurt by an oversight? Offended for a lack of courtesy?

Better yet, have you ever compared another person’s misdeeds to your own, and deemed them worse?

As the reluctant bearer of bad tidings, I am compelled to disclose to you, an honest reader, what you probably already know.

Of course you have.

We all have. We can’t help it. We’re human. We may try to be Christ-like and turn the other cheek. We might beg Him to take the brunt of our pain. We want to lean in to what we know from scripture and attempt to “die to self,” asking God to shine through us. We know what to do.

But we can’t do it.

At least not consistently. Sure, we have victories in Jesus along the way. Obviously, He comes to our aid when we call on Him. Of course He is faithful to preserve and protect us from the fiery darts of ______ (insert your favorite stumbling block’s name here.)

But we’ve all been caught off guard. Every one of us can point to times when we’ve been critical of someone, defensive when a fault is pointed out, or spoken unkindly of someone who doesn’t measure up, in our “humble” opinion.

That’s because we’re stuck inside these bodies of skin and bone. And at least for now, that’s the way of it. We can and should continue to strive for a Christ-like attitude. We know there is peace and joy to be found in resting in Him to fight our battles, and in so doing, giving others the benefit of the doubt.

But sadly, we tend to think more highly of ourselves than we ought.

This innate dichotomy of my way or the “High” way has plagued me for years. The whole Romans 7 commentary of “I want to do good, but I can’t.” And “Who will rescue me from this slavery to self?” has been sticking it to me since I first believed.

But then I remembered the next verse. “Thanks God! It’s been done by Jesus! He set me free!”

Turns out this verse was there all along. I knew about it, but this time it clicked. God knows, left to our own devices we’re prone to self-preservation, even if it means putting ourselves over others. In other words, the opposite of love. It’s how we’re wired.

It’s only through daily surrender we have a chance to gain success over our autopilot “me first” mode. But thank God He forgives, forgets, and loves us big despite our past record, or our “win-loss” column!

Faulty? Sure. Imperfect? Of course. Conceited? ….Okay, I guess so. But you know what? He loves you just like you are! And the best part?

And He wants to help!

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