Quite regularly, I do dumb things. You probably do the same dumb things. The difference between us is that for His own reasons, God has led me to write about my blunders and widely distribute this humiliating, personal information. So far, I have not figured out what His motives are, but I suspect it might have something to do with my pride. More specifically, it may have something to do with getting rid of my pride. Pride is a substantial obstacle in my life, which is ironic because, as I said, I do many dumb things.
After my dumb public moments, embarrassment always follows. No matter how hard I try to act as if it does not matter, the truth is that it does. I want people to like me. Don’t you want people to like you? I guess we are worried that people will not like us if they know what we are actually like. We want to appear cool, together and unruffled. We want to look prettier or more handsome than we generally are. We want to make people think we are smart, witty and articulate.
We want an awful lot.
Perhaps, we just want perfection. Our personal standards become impossibly high and we know we will never be able to reach them. Each day, we are vaguely aware that we are dissatisfied with ourselves, but we do not know what to do about it.
I used to think accomplishment would erase my dissatisfaction.
I thought I would be happy if I could check off every single item on my ‘to do’ list as others did. One day, I actually did accomplish everything on my list, but I still had that discontented feeling. Of course, it only happened once and I have not been able to repeat the experience, but I suspect the results would be the same. Besides, I remember being very tired that night.
Then I decided the solution was humility.
I began to confess my shortcomings on a regular basis. To anyone who would listen, I would bemoan the weakness of my flesh, the propensity I had to sin and the hopelessness of my life. Gloomily listing how awful I was became an obsession. I was pitiful, peculiar and pathetic.
No one wanted to listen.
Left alone with my humility, my imperfections and my dumbness, I finally heard someone say something so brilliant that I have never forgotten it. It was this:
1. When we look around, we feel anxious.
2. When we look within, we feel depressed.
3. When we look to Christ, we receive His peace.
Jesus Christ lived the perfect life we crave! He did not sin; His perfection conquered the grave itself. We must neither dwell on our imperfections nor overcome them on our own. Have you heard that incredible news? Jesus had one item on His daily ‘to do’ list and He always completed it.
It was to do whatever the Father asked.
When I stop thinking about myself and read Scriptures that reveal Christ, I experience a dynamic shift in perception. I remember I am His child and that I have been bought with a price. I remember His grace. As I rejoice in His profound love, my anxiety, depression and pride gradually melt away. They are replaced by an overwhelmingly delightful sense of security. The Bible calls it ‘His peace.’
Interestingly, as long as my focus stays on Jesus, joyful assurance and hope are retained, but as soon as I begin hoarding fretful thoughts, I get weird and nervous. His peace and joy are so much fun, you would think I would not easily forget their source.
Forgetting Jesus must be one of those dumb things I do.