Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Jesus is My Balance Bar. . .



Continuing to think on how coming to God has changed me, in maybe not so expected or visible ways. . .
God has had a greatly moderating effect upon my life. My anger, my depression. . . in so many ways I am a calmer and steadier person since coming to God. One not so noticed way that I have become more temperant is in respect to my self pride. Like many. . . maybe most young people I came out of childhood and adolescence with a wounded and maybe somewhat fragile ego. I had a significant lack of self confidence, and feeling of low value. My military experience was a large help in giving me confidence, a feeling of competence and value. Going through Army basic training, and having success in my advanced training helped me greatly in my feeling of confidence and self worth. That shaky foundation may be covered over by subsequent experience and somewhat repaired, but is not easily healed.
It continued to manifest itself, by my always being on the lookout for slights, and disrespect. One of many examples comes to my mind. A new phone system was installed where I work, and there were two styles of phone for the system, a very basic white phone, which was restricted to only dialing calls, and a black multi-function phone which could do voicemail, intercom, message transfer, speakerphone, conference call setup, and the full range of tasks. I am now convinced that it was totally unintentional, but a white phone was put on my desk, and I remember how angry. . . how furious I was. . .the rage I was in, at what I was certain was an intentional slight and disrespect to my image. . . I was sure that this revealed management's disrespect and lack of value of me. This feeling of inner questionable worth, caused me to see everything as a personal affront. I saw lots and lots of things as attacks on my pride and self-respect, which were no such thing. This foundation of insecurity manifested itself in many ways. . . almost always expressed as anger and outrage at someone disrespecting me.
But ego, pride, self-confidence, are needful of moderation. A balance bar for a tightrope walker, helps keep him centered on the wire, as certain death lies to each side. Such is it with ego, and self pride. Disaster lies with too much, as well as with too little. My self pride eventually grew to great bounds. To even think that I required God or spiritual/moral authority or accountability in any way was hugely insulting to me. In my eyes, I was my own god. I was good. I was moral. I was altruistic, not requiring the bribery of heaven to do my good works. I was superior to Christians in every way. . .
As long as I could overlook my lying. . . my stealing. . . my oath breaking. . .my drunkenness. . . etc. etc. etc. etc. my overall immorality, I was a good person. . .as long as I had nothing to compare myself to.
I’ve said it before, if you’ve never seen anything white, you can convince yourself that any shade of gray is white, but as soon as you discover something pure and holy and truly righteous, then your filth becomes very very apparent. The scales come off your eyes, and you can for once see yourself for what you are.
I no longer have to depend upon the acclaim, and praise of men to pump up my self-opinion. I have my God who loves me. . . who values me. . . who despite my warts, and scars, and ugliness, sees worth and value in me. He gave of Himself in order that my sins might be paid for, and that I might escape the death that I totally deserved.
But in the other direction, I am today completely humbled and ashamed of how good I thought myself, and how evil I really was. In that still fresh memory, I despair of ever again becoming prideful and self-righteous. I carry the vision of my arrogance without any foundation. How smart. . . How wise. . . How righteous I thought I was. . .
Jesus is my balance bar. Keeping me from tipping into either the chasm of despair, or haughtiness which lie to either side of me. I am changed. I am remade. I am reborn, truly into a new creature. I will not go back to the land from whence I came.
I have found power, and I have found peace.
I thank you my God. . .
I love you my Lord. . .
Dave

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