Tuesday, May 11

My Theme for 2010

It seems like every year I struggle with picking a theme...almost to the point of not choosing one sometimes. But then I look back at years past and see that I have grown in areas that I intentionally focus on.

I have had to be careful that my theme doesn't become a 'project' for me. An activity that chalks up 'points' for me in my spiritual growth. Spiritual maturity doesn't come from spiritual activity so I have had to keep my 'theme' in perspective as I took on a subject to be more mindful of.

This year I've been challenged to answer the question,

"What is the defining characteristic of a follower of Jesus Christ?"

I had quite a few themes that I thought would answer this question quite nicely, but scholars and teachers of the Bible all seem to be in agreement that humility is the defining characteristic of a follower of JC. I didn't really want to hear that because I wanted something like generosity or service to be the defining characteristic. To me, those would be measureable and would feed my need TO DO. Immediately, I identified that as PRIDE and thus I knew I wanted to spend this year focusing on humility.

I have missed a wealth of wonderful reading and insight by not choosing this theme earlier. I know true humility comes from God but to be aware of it 24/7 has kept me in constant conversation with God as I am continually in agreement with Him that I have a lot of pride in my life.

I needed to define humility so I knew what I was looking for from God. The working definition I am using is:
"A right view of God that produces a right view of myself and right relationships with others."

With a theme of humility and a working definition in hand I start my day telling God I need Him to prick my conscious when pride rears up. I need Him to give me a right view of myself.

He has brought to my attention that
"I deserve"
"I have a right"
"Should this be happening to me?"
maybe don't have a place in my vocabulary if I am seeking to submit to a life of humility like Christ.

Humility is submission and dependence on God. NOT me trying harder, but Christ in me...and so He spills out of my life as I rest in Him.

I know I don't have to worry about making this theme my 'project' for the year because it is only by God's grace that I will be able to embrace humility. Jesus was God and yet He laid aside the use of divine power. I am forever striving for me, myself and I. I can only lay that aside by the grace of God.

Andrew Murray says it best: " 'Me' is a most exacting person, requiring the best seat and the highest place for itself, and feeling grievously wounded if its claim is not recognized. Most of the quarrels among Christian workers arise from the clamoring of this gigantic 'me'. How few of us understand that true secret of taking our seats in the lowest rooms."

Maybe my measuring stick of this theme will be in seeing this 'gigantic me' in the right perspective for a change.

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