Wednesday, December 1

Four-Way Stop

I was going through a four-way stop the other day and it struck me just how much like our self-perception it is. The way we look at ourselves is such a narrow ledge, with self-doubt a chasm on one side and pride a chasm on the other. We either think too highly of ourselves or too lowly. Satan has really done well drilling a false idea of pride into us. We have come to believe that humility means thinking less of ourselves and degrading our own talents. Humility is that narrow road we walk stepping neither to the left nor to the right. It is the perfect balance of self-image, in which I believe myself to be neither more or less than I am, but exactly what God has made me.

So to return to the metaphor: I'm often shocked at four-way stops at peoples sense of themselves. Some people rush through, going in front of cars that were obviously there before them. Others will wave you through even if they were clearly there first. This is the perfect picture of our flawed self-image. When we deserve to go first, we don't, and when we don't deserve to go first, we do. We can't objectively look at ourselves and decide where we fit. We either think we arrived earlier than we did, or we think we arrived later than we did. Humility is not thinking less of yourself. It is finding your place. If you are good at something, it's lying and self-doubt to say you're not. But it's pride to say you're better than you are. Tell it like it is, you'll find the balance. If it feels like boasting, remember that God gave you your talents, so reflect the praise back to him.

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