Sunday’s Sermon — Point Two

May 30, 2007, 2:30 pm; posted by
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How do we live as a Christian? We must be ever-humble. (I had to cheat a little to create my first mnemonic sermon device…I finally succumbed after about ten or fifteen sermons.)

Verse 16 in our text (Romans 12) says to “associate with the humble; do not be wise in your own opinion.”

I graduated from law school this past Sunday, and our class president got up and gave a speech. To be kind, I will tell you her speech was not strong on humility. She said our class had known “for quite a while that our brilliance was blinding,” that our destiny was to “rule the free world,” and that our greatest fear was not that we were inadequate, but that we were “powerful beyond our wildest dreams.” She even stole that from a movie!

These were very interesting sentiments, but frankly, completely false. I looked around at my class, and I took a look in the mirror, and the fact is, most of us are not blindingly brilliant — we’re not even all that bright! Some of us were smart, others were not so smart, but all of us had achieved our degree because of hard work and perseverance, combined with the sacrifice and help of many others in our lives.

But her speech reflects the way of the world, the training we have received to boast in our accomplishments to get a job, a date, a vote. Television is full of people who would like nothing better than the chance to tell you how wonderful they are. But this is not an attractive stance for a follower of Christ, a man who lived a humble and lowly life and called his followers to do the same. If people come to church because of how great you are, they’re going to become disillusioned very quickly — if not by your eventual failures, then when they meet me! Or when they come across any other Christian who is similarly imperfect. Our salvation is only found in Jesus and His sacrifice; this must be our message, not anything to do with us.

There’s another part of ‘associating with the humble,’ and that’s resisting the temptation to believe our trials are somehow more difficult than everyone else’s, or that sinfulness is somehow unusual. You’re not so bad that God cannot change your heart and save your soul! Focusing too much on our weaknesses and flaws, or believing they can ever stop God from accomplishing His work in our lives, is just as much a form of pride as puffing out one’s chest on a stage.

To live like a Christian, we need a balance between the constant knowledge that we are sinful, mortal and imperfect, and the wonderful truth that we are saved, being made holy, and capable of great things in God.

The glory is His; we must constantly remind ourselves to both reflect it from Him, and deflect it to Him.


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