|Madonna of Humility by Domenico di Bartolo (photo credit: Wikipedia).|
God has been very good to me. Unfortunately, I have to admit that at times I have the bad habit of focusing on my flaws instead of God's mercy and kindness. Do I really think that my human imperfections matter more than the greatness of the Lord? No, but it can be easy for me to get caught up in this negative type of introspection.
Every flaw looks magnified when inspected up close.
The world becomes a very small place indeed when we focus on ourselves to this degree. I know better than this but still catch myself doing it. There's nothing that imprisons a person as much as being overly preoccupied with yourself does. When it comes to spiritual matters, self-absorption is downright dangerous.
I'm quite sure we impede the work of the Holy Spirit when we worry about our spiritual progress. It's as if we were saying to the Lord, "I can't trust you with my sanctification. I am worried about my holiness because I don't quite believe you are powerful or loving enough to take care of this for me." Or perhaps we think He'll let us down and that we won't reach the impossibly high standards of holiness that we set up for ourselves with our fallen natures that (of course) know better than God what holiness is.
In other words...
...I am convinced that our own idea of holiness and God's are different. Very different.
Sooner or later everyone must get rid of the false gods they have set up for themselves...and the most difficult one to boot off the throne is the god of self. It's been a problem since the Garden of Eden and is no less of one today. The apple doesn't fall far from tree. Those who think they have escaped this aspect of the fall of man are deceiving themselves. The saints didn't think they were saints; they understood the depths of their fallen nature and their total dependence on God's mercy. They knew they were sinners in deep need of salvation. Once self has been kicked off the throne it becomes very clear that this is true in our own lives as well. One of the biggest obstacles to becoming a saint is thinking you are one already. The humble KNOW they are sinners but this doesn't bother them to a great degree because:
Continue reading at The Beautiful Gate.