Let's Move Closer
By Dave Bowersox
Verses To Read:
Last week, a friend asked me about a trip I took with my oldest last fall. My son was standing next to me, so trying to see if I could embarrass my favorite oldest son, I loosely used details of the trip in a slightly dramatic way. Along with the expected eye roll, my son said, “Dad, that’s not how that went… you always make yourself the hero of the story.”
While I love it when my stories embarrass my sons, as I prepare for the year ahead of me, Judah’s statement reminded me of something. If I’m not careful, I can begin to believe the stories I tell others and myself—that I’m always the hero of the story. And if I am really trying to make progress as a Christ follower, I need to have an accurate view of where I am now, so I can know where I need to go. I need to see that I’m not always the hero… sometimes I’m the villain, the obstacle, or at the very least I’m like the Pink Panther, and I have nothing to do with all the good that happens around me.
Last year I read the book Ego is the Enemy, by Ryan Holiday, and in it he says, “Narrative is when you look back at an improbable or unlikely path to your success and say: I knew it all along…Crafting stories out of past events is a very human impulse. It’s also dangerous and untrue. Writing your own narrative leads to arrogance. It turns our life into a story—and turns us into caricatures—while we still have to live it.”
We allow ourselves to tell stories in a way that make more out of our efforts, and we take credit for success that wasn’t ours for the taking. For me, making progress in my walk as a Christian starts with looking at my story with a healthy dose of reality so I don’t fall into pridefully thinking I have it all together. Sometimes my effort made a huge different, other times God was going to make it happen regardless of my input.
God talks about pride from Genesis to Revelation. Pride lies. It deceives. It tells us we are good enough just as we are. If we don’t control our pride, soon we develop an ego that requires to be fed, rather than a humility that relies on an outside source to be fed from- God. Pride is what causes us to look at ourselves and elevate ourselves to the place of God. We were never meant to hold that position.
Do you want to move closer to God this year? Join me in having a healthy view of where you’re starting. No, you’re not a horrible person. But yes, you have things you need to work on. And if we lean on God, he promises to do more than we could ever hope or imagine. What a good God who meets us right where we are, but also continues to work in and through us!
Questions To Consider:
1. Who can I give permission to point out where I may be prideful?
2. Have I taken credit for something God has done?
3. In what area do I want to move closer to Jesus in this year? How do I need to partner with God to
make this move?
Prayer to Pray:
God, I want to be a stronger Christ follower this year, and that means I need to know where I end and you begin. Show me today where you have stepped in on my behalf in the past so that I can have a healthy view of who I am and who I am not. I want to trust more fully in what you can do through me in the future. Use me today. In Jesus name, Amen.