Monday, July 4, 2011

words of encouragement

I want to be the best!

Seriously, I love being looked up to, talked about, recognized in public. For me, its an acknowledgment that I am an important person. It validates me. It shows me how indispensable I am in God's Plan.  It means that I am...

When we started this adventure I wanted to serve God with all my being, but I knew that I struggled a bit with pride. At first I tied to restrict myself to a more behind the scenes role. I worked on the campus, helped with teams, organized and planned, but I was not the center of attention. Then little by little, I started falling into the spotlight. It started by leading short term teams in bible studies, then coaching and playing football, and now...blogging.

To make matters a little worse, on came the praise. Accolades for what I was doing. People actually telling me how great I was. 

It wasn't really what I was doing, I mean they are all good things that fall into God's plan for my life. It wasn't even the praise because seriously, thanking others for what they do, how they impact you, is never a bad thing.

The problem was I forgot. I forgot why I was here, forgot who I was here for, and I forgot that I, El Chupacabra, am not all that important in the overall scheme of things, but He is.  I forgot...

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:17

I'm not entirely sure, but I think its sort of a missionary curse. I mean, we go home and we have all these meetings with friends and family, with pastors and supporters and they all want to know what great things we are doing. That is our job you know, to do great things for God, and well...sometimes we start to think its all about us.

Don't get me wrong, there are great things happening for God, but its really in spite of us, not because of us. There is no better way to put it than in the words of one of my friends down here, Hector. Hector likes to tell me that when we are doing God's work NOBODY is irreplaceable! Not him, not you, and especially not me!

So I have been thinking about this for a while, and I know how you can help. Now this may sound a bit bible thumpery, but you can keep us humble with your words. We need some encouragement, but maybe instead of telling us, especially me, what a great job we are doing you could say something a little like,

“It is so cool what God is doing down there. Nice to see Him able to use you, even though you're a total douche!”


“Its incredible to see what God can do with you on his team. Just think of what he could do with someone with a little talent.”

or maybe,

“You are so lucky to be a part of God's work down there because, lets be honest, you don't really have all that much going for you.”

We could all use a little reminder that without Him we are...well...just us.

So what gets your pride going, and how do you fight it? How can we live out the instruction of Paul “Don't think of yourselves more highly than you ought...”? What other words of “encouragement” can you pass my way to help me out in my struggle?

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