Recently during the night this thought came, “Whenever you give yourself credit for an achievement, that’s pride.
My battle with gluttony and keeping weight off came to mind. As I reflected, it seemed whenever I was in the eating-right groove and felt certain I’d never again battle overeating, suddenly I’d be right back at it again. And I’d wonder, What happened? I was doing so well.
James 4:6 explains why this keeps happening to me.
God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. NIV
Finally I’m realizing that eating right is not something I’ve ever or will ever be able to do in my own strength. It will only be by the grace of God. Whenever I forget that, God removes His grace to remind me.
One definition of grace that has helped me is “grace = power to do what God has called me to do.” When I think that the power is coming from within me, that’s pride.
Within this giving myself credit problem is the delusion that I’m better than someone else because of what I’ve achieved. How easily I forget the familiar but true saying, “There but for the grace of God go I…” Anything I’ve accomplished in my life as far as victory over sin is because of the power of God.
Before I knew God, I was convinced I was worse than everyone else. Then when God began to work in my life, Satan whispered, “Now you’re so much better.” But of course I’m not, because everything I do right is because of God. Satan works relentlessly to get me to deny this.
As far as thinking I’m worse or better than others and bouncing back and forth between the two, depending on my victories or lack thereof, this verse gives me some insight:
Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment … Romans 12:3
The verse in the J. B. Phillips Bible says,
…Don’t cherish exaggerated ideas of yourself or your importance…
How important am I making myself when I say, “God could never forgive me for this” or “I don’t think God loves me anymore?” I’ve said these things. This is not humility. It’s pride.
Back to overeating–I need to risk being humble enough to say, “Without God’s help, I’d weigh 300 pounds,” or “I struggle so much with overeating; it’s only by God’s grace I’m able to do this.”
I love the definition of humility a lady named Mary Lou sent to me recently: “True humility is understanding just how incompetent we are, and wondering why Christ chooses us to do His work. And being thrilled that He does.” Amen.
What about you? Do you find you give yourself credit for the work God is doing in you and through you? Are you convinced the power to do right comes from you rather than from God? Draw near to God and He will show you the state of your soul without Him. But then He will gladly fill you with Himself.