Aren’t you glad that God is no respecter of persons? James 2:9, I love our God, who sees our hearts and loves us and uses us in spite of that. He sanctifies us even as he uses us. No one but God is quite so confident in us. Often we aren’t even confident in ourselves. Thank God He can take our mumblings and our bungled efforts and bring glory to Himself through them! Did you mess that task up or not fulfill it to perfection? Great. It is more usable by a God who looks at your heart and is pleased with any humility that He sees there.
Has the newness worn off of your welcome somewhere? You are just as favored with God! He never changes. Did someone make you feel you weren’t up to par or as qualified? Well guess what? Your God does not think that way when He burdens your heart. Acts 10:34. Imagine a God who just looks at our heart, where it is right now. No past failures. No achievements. No positions. No titles. The only qualifications listed here are those who fear Him and do what is right. Ahhh….what a relief. Though we can never reach perfection, through Christ’s atoning sacrifice, we are sanctified to carry out whatever God places in our hearts. Let’s not get hung up on whether someone thinks we should hold a position to do this or that, or whether we look good enough. 1 Sam. 16:7 and Rom. 2:11
Have you given all that you can monetarily or with your time and it still doesn’t look like someone else’s efforts? To God, you may look like the widow who gave nearly nothing, but He knew it was far more sacrificial than the others. Luke 21: 1-4. So keep giving and focusing on the One who knows all. If you find yourself paying attention to what others think or comparing, (and who doesn’t from time to time!), you have just bought into the pride trap. A common trap that we need to disentangle from as often as moment by moment. In his book, “Mere Christianity”, C.S. Lewis says “According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere flea bites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind…” He also says “the more we have it in ourselves, the more we dislike it in others”. Ouch. Again, time to refocus and often!
Another area pride leaps inside us is when we have been treated unfairly or unjustly, and the most difficult mistreatment is with some public consequence. It is a hard test to be still when this happens and takes some working through! But Jesus set that ultimate example on the cross. I read a testimony of a very difficult trial a pastor went through and am challenged by his example. You may be interested in reading his story on his blog. I am inspired by several other people (including my family) and pastors in my life in this area as well. Thank God for humble examples.
And lastly, it just helps to focus on others as more important than yourself. Phil. 2:3 , Rom. 12:10 As God’s love moves you into action, everything but God’s approval becomes irrelevant. Here is a great post on Love Moves. So as we revel in that undeserved love God lavishes on us, we can more easily smile no matter what is going on around us or how much favor or lack of it we may feel is being shown us.