This is going to start out sounding like my previous couple of posts (i.e., meaningless), but hang on here with me for a minute and you’ll get the point, I hope. I was watching American Idol tonight while I packed more boxes full of my seemingly infinite amount of stuff in preparation for moving in the next few days. Right at the end of the show, the last of the teasers for tomorrow night shows a very cute, nicely dressed, 20-something girl (who has obviously just been rejected by the judges) who, with tears in her eyes, forces a scary grin and says in a desperate, high screech, gesturing wildly, “Look at me! I’m unique!!” It’s meant to be funny, of course, but comes across as poignant and kind of awful.
In a philosophical moment American Idol does not often provoke, I thought, Isn’t that just like me? I’m not on national television, of course, but in so many ways, my life is made up of moments when I demand that those around me look at me and see how unique and special I am — how superior to the average person!
The problem of pride is that it builds us up in places we need torn down — arrogance about our skills, accomplishments, gifts, belongings, even, God forbid, about our salvation! 1 Corinthians 4:7 says, “What do you have that you did not receive?” Nothing! I have nothing — not faith, not obedience, not ability, not material possessions — that the Lord in His grace did not provide me! I have no blessing that Christ did not earn on my behalf.
But at the same time, the trap of insecurity keeps us from embracing our completely secure place in Christ. No, we did not earn righteousness, but nonetheless it is ours in Christ. We did not merit blessing, but Christ’s merit purchased the highest of all spiritual blessings: salvation! (Getting revved up; brace yourself!) We did not deserve the love of God, but we still have it without condition! My position is no better than yours, but it’s still glorious! Imagine — To be in relationship with, to receive the love of the God who fashioned the stars, who made the Alps and the angels and the ocean!
What joy is yours and mine, friends. Let’s learn to really know our place in Christ, and hold our salvation in humility.