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“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” (Marianne Williamson)

Picture of too big Alice trapped in too small a roomSome of us go through life rather like ‘Alice in Wonderland’, alternating between “Eat Me” pills to make us smaller and “drink me” potions to make us bigger.   Lack of self-esteem and poor self-image is often welcomed as a sign of humility while faith and boldness can easily be viewed with suspicion and a sign of self-exaltation.  We quickly quote I Peter 5:6, “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time He will lift you up in honour,” but too few of us recognise the favour of God that rests on ourselves and those around us.  

I may discount myself from service for being too full of selfish ambition, while another discounts themselves for being too unworthy.  Jesus did not disqualify His disciples from service when they argued over who was the greatest and both Paul and Jesus rejoiced in the gospel being preached even if it was from wrong motives.  Character development is good and noble and we should pursue it, but we shouldn’t wait for perfection before fulfilling Christ’s great commission.  My favourite definition of humility comes from CS Lewis who wrote, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”

References

  • Luke 9:46, Luke 22:24 Disciples argued over who was the greatest
  • Isaiah 60:1 Arise and shine!
  • Matthew 5:14-16 Jesus says “You are the light of the world, a city set on a hill cannot be hidden”
  • Mark 9:38-39 Disciples rebuked for stopping others preaching
  • Philippians 1:14-18 Most important to preach the gospel

© Michelle Sherlock 12/4/14.

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