All too often we build a pedestal for ourselves then climb on top wondering why we hadn’t been up there before. After all, the view is so much better.Sometimes we even snag a bedazzler and a boa and fix it up real pretty like- you know: lots of designer names and stacked rose gold bracelets, Tory Burch flats if you’re really on top.
Even if you sub the Tory for some Target you still wear the flats and look pretty cute in them too (I won’t tell anyone if you’re just trying to hide your peeling toenail polish).
Maybe you use your material wealth to host fancy parties so people will like you and compliment your culinary creations-Guilty. Maybe you use your blog to appear like you’ve got something intelligent to say on parenting, marriage, or Christianity- Guilty. Heck, maybe you even decide your kid can wear her Cinderella dress to Kroger so you can be the portray the image of being the cool mom-Guilty. *sigh*
The point is we purposefully or inadvertently boost ourselves to some sort of standard where people can come to us-like our wisdom or the way we carry ourselves is worth imitating. I’ll concede the notion of “imitate me as I imitate Christ” is a good one, for the right people. People like Matt Chandler, Todd Wagner, Jen Hatmaker, JP Pokluda, Beth Moore, Jim Congdon…you know…people who are too legit to quit. People that are not me.
The humbling experience of taking yourself off your own altar is one worth experiencing, I assure you that much.
See, what happened was, my desire to go before others to secure my reputation, my insecurity that fueled my gossip, and my realization that I’ve built a soapbox in vain was driving my actions far more than my resting exactly where I’m at. Mark 4:19 has begun to describe me all too frequently: “…the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it
Taking the time to do a heart check for motivations, especially in the form of blogging, contributions I add to conversations, or how I spend my down time, is not a new concept for me. Sadly it’s just one I’ve finally become convinced is important. Before we seize, or create, the opportunity to lead others, it’s important to figure out if you’ve put yourself there out of selfish ambition or are truly doing what God has called you to do.
Perhaps you can identify with some of my own motivations: Is your hobby causing arrogance? Is your usage of social media an idol to the point where you know your mindless browsing is hindering your ability to enjoy what God’s laid right before you, be it kids, a husband, or just being still? Are you quick to have all the answers (even if it is abundantly clear to you and everyone else that your homie really should just chill it with the pride and arrogance?) Is it impossible to admit that you’re defensive when pressed to act in a more Christ- honoring way?
My interactions with the world around me are more effective than sitting behind the screen of a Samsung Galaxy. Counsel I give others is more heartfelt when in person and not reduced to a text message or hidden behind passive aggressive thoughts that thankfully never get verbalized. My heart’s desire is to care so little of my own abilities that I become thankful for the desire I have to write and do it to honor God, not to win favor from the world. That may be a lie. OK, it’s a lie. I’m still this side of Heaven so my selfishness is ever-present but certainly will not define me.
I choose to take the opportunity to just listen and yield to what way God will allow me to use my gifts that I enjoy very much. Removing myself from a position to constantly speak on how to do much of anything besides unload the dishwasher correctly, and even that’s up for debate, has been a difficult process. One where I’ve argued with God about whether or not to remain on social media, keep watching Nashville, or whether or not to continue living in the blogosphere. I take my praises and accolades and pridefully feel like the world will simply not go on as it should unless people know the trillion and seven thoughts I have on this life. And the truth that Earth still turns is proof that my contribution to society in the form of a stream of consciousness blurb really isn’t all that significant.
And I’m ok with that.