Perseverance

Posted: February 14, 2011 in Life
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(In honor of the dawning of the Aaron Rogers era…)

By the grace of God, perseverance is something I’m learning about right now. My less than earth shattering take away: perseverance is much more do-able in humility.

I hate pride. I mean, hate it. It’s ugly, disgusting, debilitating, imprisoning, etc. It’s the mother that is pregnant with all other sins (Augustine). It separates me from God, from other people, and has had devastating effects on the body of Christ as a whole. 

And with that said, as much as I know I hate pride, I also know that a lot of fruit in my life indicates I still have way too much of it. Count me among the prideful. Among those on a journey of pursuing humility by the grace of God, but will never reach a destination until I go to be with Jesus. In other words, humility seems to be a paradox in that I desire to grow in humility but could never say that I’ve actually achieved it…because that would be a proud thing to say.

And in the midst of trial, hardship, or when I just don’t feel like I’m getting any traction in a particular area of life, humility seems all that much more important. During times when perseverance is difficult, it’s very tempting for me to turn inward and languish in pride and self-pity. And then to eventually become aware of that and say “I need to focus on humility”…which I’ve come to realize recently is still prideful. Because it’s still about me. As my Pastor recently said “Humility is not thinking low of yourself. It’s not thinking of yourself.”

Fail.

I guess the fundamental question is “Who (or what) do I worship?” The Gospel itself is a message rooted in humility. With the Gospel at my center, I realize I don’t “deserve better” than my circumstances. That frankly, all I deserve is hell…everything else is grace. It’s a shift from individualistic entitlement regarding anything and everything to focusing on one thing: Jesus.

That’s amazing. That’s freedom. Freedom from the self-imposed prison of pride and self-will.

“24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”  – Acts 20:24

Perseverance looks a lot different in light of the Gospel. And so does everything else.  

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