This blog post is from Cole Nesmith, I really enjoyed it…
CHRISTIANS ARE PRETTY GOOD AT SELF DEPRECATING.
We value it as some sort of symbol for holiness. I suppose the idea is taken from the likes of Paul who makes statements about his suffering being gainful. But we take these words of a man living boldly in the face of persecution and distort them to be a prescription for how we should live. We misunderstand Paul’s ability to find life despite his hellish circumstances and, instead, view painful circumstances as a virtue.
But you and I live in a relatively peaceful and painless world in relation to the lives of Paul and the other New Testament martyrs. And so, in the void of actual persecution, we begin to falsely persecute ourselves through self-deprication and manufactured flagellation. But,
Self-deprication is not holy. It demeans the creative work of God.
Every time you or I say “Eh, I’m nothing,” we discount the powerful work of God in creating humanity in his own image and giving us thoughts, dreams, hopes and passions. To declare one’s self as nothing is to deny the image of God within us. When we deprecate self, we deprecate God. We call God a liar and tell him that his declaration of “it is very good” was – in fact – very wrong.
And often, the concept of individual nothingness is followed by identifying statements like “I’m just a filthy sinner.” And – we find in statements like these – that we not only neglect the image of God within. We actually deny the redemptive work of Jesus.
Viewing self as nothing negates the saving work of Christ on the cross.
We know that – in Christ – we are no longer slaves but sons. We are not under the yoke of the slavery of sin and death. Rather, we have been set free from the law of sin and death. We are not lowly sinners. We are purified, holy, perfect and blameless. We have been made heirs to the promise of the kingdom of heaven on earth.
Not only has Christ redeemed the life of the individual, he has commissioned us into being ambassadors of reconciliation to all the universe. We have not only been saved FROM the curse of sin. We have been saved TO a life beyond what we could have ever asked for. Thus,
Stepping into Christ causes one to value his life all the more.
The truth is, If it was all about God, you wouldn’t be here. But you are.
God has chosen to create you. He knew you in your mother’s womb. He knows the hairs on your head, and he calls you valuable. He calls you son. He calls you daughter. He calls you friend. And not only has he chosen to create you, he’s chosen to commission you. He’s entrusted the keys to heaven to you and has empowered you with the Holy Spirit to unleash heaven on earth. That doesn’t mean turning off your brain and heart only to become a dreamless, idealess robot.
God wants you to have original thought. He wants you to have creative ideas. He wants to accomplish his agenda in tandem with you.
Your dreams, gifts, talents and passions aren’t in conflict with the mission of God. Rather, he wants to highlight and elevate the gifts He’s placed inside you as he’s unfolding his plans with you. He hasn’t given you the ability to have dreams and creative thought only to set you on a course of passionless angst for the duration of your days.
No. He was intentional in crafting you with certain abilities and experiences so that you might step into accomplishing that which only you can accomplish the way only you can accomplish it. You are not replaceable.
No one can do what you’ve been created to do. No one can play the role you’ve been created to play. You have a unique purpose, and God is pleased to have you contribute your uniqueness to the canvas of the universe. That’s the nature of co-labouring.
Co-labouring with Christ means valuing your unique contribution and stewarding it well.
It’s time we stop telling God that we’re nothing and begin aligning ourselves with how he sees us and who he says we are. It’s time we shift our view from lowly sinner to redeemed heir. God so longs to reignite the spirit of dreaming within us. His plans are unfolding, and he’s given us the opportunity to uniquely contribute to that process of redemption and reconciliation.
The simple fact that you are here means you have a purpose. God’s pursuit for you shows that you’re valuable.Christ’s sacrifice for you says that you’re worth something.
Open your hands. Live surrendered. Be willing to do anything and go anywhere at any moment. But don’t mistake that posture for the idea that God has asked you to stop dreaming. Instead, dream all the more, and watch in amazement as God expands those dreams to become more than you could have ever imagined.