Good Works & Blessed Ignorance ~ BitterSweetLife

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Good Works & Blessed Ignorance

God Keeps You In the Dark Because of Your Big Head

Quick thought: God often accomplishes his most resounding successes using people who are not aware of the impact they are having. (If you want to put this premise to the test, read a few of the great missionary biographies; it's instructive how many of them were saddened by the way that their lives weren't having much of an effect.) Why does God work this way?

I suspect it's because if we knew that God was using our lives for purposes greater than eating a lot of dark chocolate, most of us would immediately get a big head and begin to screw things up. Note that I said "most of us," which allows for the very likely fact that God is using you in a big way and you don't have a big head. I'm always ready to give credit to you readers.

But for the rest of us (i.e., those who don't read this blog and me), this seems like a kind of sorry state of affairs, given the natural human desire for recognition. Is it wrong to want to know that you're doing a good job? No, it's not--the wrongness creeps in when the desire to render good service morphs into the desire to see your name on a flashing marquee because you're the spiritual equivalent of James Dean reincarnated--young, devilishly good-looking, and so convinced of your value to humanity that God is forced to remove you early.

It's this little scene in your life that God preemptively observes (eternally sees the potential for) and says, I don't think so. In the economy of grace, it's better to be ignorant that stuck on yourself.

I'm not necessarily saying that if you're depressed and and convinced that you're an underachiever, everything's cool and God's secretly happy with you. The possibility does exist. But a safer application would be to say, Don't pin your value to a chart graphing "the awesome results of my life." Not only will the chart fluctuate too much to help your resume very much, but your confidence will have all the steadiness of earthworms navigating sidewalks after a thunderstorm (I saw some recently).

And besides all that, God demands that you place your trust in him, and derive your worth from the fact that you are a child of God for whom Christ died and who will one day reign eternally with Jesus over the New Heaven and Earth while basking in his resurrection glory.

Upshot: Crucify your ego and earnestly obey Jesus because God loves you. He expects you to do good works since you're acquainted with his Son, but he doesn't intend for you to track them with bar graphs and become a big-headed kahuna also known as a Pharisee. However, because you are likely to do this very thing, he may not let you see the impact of your life for awhile.

Like what you read? Don't forget to bookmark this post or subscribe to the feed.


R. Sherman said...

As with Baalem, even God can use an ass.


Rachel's Big Dunk said...

Hallelujah, brother. You hit some nails on some heads with this one.

Good stuff.

Aoko said...

Ouch! I needed to read this. For some reason I've been feeling rather under-appreciated lately. Lol, true about Balaam up there! Lovely post. And I almost didn't read it. God is good!

jo(e) said...

This post really hit home. Thanks.


Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife