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Light

People

To give thanks for a fellow believer is important...God deserves to be praised for His creation. He has taken interest in someone who never merited it. He wooed a man with His Holy Spirit, brought a thousand small circumstances to bear on the man's life, preparing him to see his sin and the grace of God toward him. He cleansed him, quickened him, adopted him as His son. Even if only one man were to exist with whom God took such pains, it would be the duty of all of us to praise and thank Him for such amazing kindness.

—John White, Daring to Draw Near


God's been working on my attitude toward others, in that gentle yet irrefutable way He does. Didn't even realize until recently exactly how much I was looking on almost everyone with contempt and hatred, often born of fear. That's no fun to admit, and even more bracing to become aware that even as people boarded a bus or passed me on the streets, my thoughts of them were terribly dark. Again, it's the kind of crushing epiphany I can only bear because my hope in Him is greater than my darkness.

So it's equally surprising to discover how simply these shadowy thoughts can be taken captive to Christ. I say "shadowy" not for effect, but because they generally have no more substance or power than shadows. Light dispels them.

Light also dispels fear, and as I said, I think that's at root of much of my attitude. My contempt is a preemptive strike against rejection from people I'll never meet, as well as the ones I know. It reorders the universe in such a way that loneliness and awkward moments are evidence of my superiority. Insecurity posing as arrogance, to the point where each feeds the other and grows out of check.

And all of this keeps my gifts from being expressed and used for the good of the Body. I'm sidelined before I even enter the game.

It's not me, not some cognitive restructuring, change-your-attitude, think-happy-thoughts game that's changing me. No way. Both the wake-up and the change are spontaneous enough and big enough that His Spirit is clearly at work. Knowing the kind of bastard I can be, chances are someone's been praying for me on this. He's faithful.

Comments

some similarities here. i was just in a prayer meeting last night that was specificially for me, and this sort of thing came up, but i wasn't the one who brought it up. anyway, interesting.

(Anonymous)

You never know who is praying for you, or what they are praying. Which is one of the reasons prayer is such an awesome privilege, and should always be done carefully.

I'm glad you take heart in the Spirit showing you the arrogance... some aren't allowed to see.