9th February 2019 - Protecting Pride
I have come to realise the pride in my own heart towards several things of which I believe all disciples of Christ ought to be aware. The first of which is that my attitude within the Church had grown toxic in a way that I hadn't seen. Because at my previous congregation I subconsciously saw myself as so superior to others in practical and spiritual means, when I moved to a different congregation, I saw other members whom I deemed as lower than me in maturity and competence, it became a struggle to simply associate with them.
Secondly, my desire to lead people in the ways of Christ by teaching and evangelising was not entirely pure. I realised that I was hoping to gain reputation and elevation in the eyes of others. Instead of seeking to please God because of perfected love for Him, I had resorted to the ways of the world.
Tying into the above point was a realisation that I had this underground passion (which I believe is from the Spirit) to lead, teach and instruct others by sharing the knowledge given to me by the Spirit (which is an essential aspect of stewardship). What I believe has happened is that because this passion had laid dormant for so long, it became rancid and cancerous due to inactivity. If it had actually been put to use and practiced, it would have destroyed my pride because I would have seen how lacking, insufficient and requiring growth my abilities really were. Instead, I have been adopting a fixed mindset in which I wanted to protect my ego by never actually putting my passion to the test and potentially having myself and others see how deficient I am - the opposite of my desire to be elevated in the eyes of the world.
I think this is partly because of my time at a previous congregation, since they have such a wealth of spiritual maturity and capability, there was no real need for such passions or abilities to be utilised (outside of taking my own initiative within & without the Church of course). This leads to a spiritual gluttony which is extremely unhealthy so I feel yet another confirmation for my move to a congregation where I am definitely put to use and to the test and therefore being humbled and placed outside my comfort zone. This may sound suspiciously like I am blaming others for my lack of commitment to the ways of Christ and that would be easy to do easy. But let me make it clear that is not what I am intending here. It is completely and 100% my responsibility for obeying the commands of Christ, living a life of discipleship and following Him. I am the one who will stand before God and give account for my life, I cannot give justification for my actions based on what I believe was the fault of others - that is not taking extreme ownership. Rather it is solely my responsibility to take ownership of my situation and therefore my actions by seeing that if the environment I find myself in is not right for where I feel Christ calling me to follow, then that is on me. I will not say that I am not fulfilling the commands of Christ because someone else didn't give me the necessary assistance to do so. I am also not responsible to give account for the life of others when they stand before God either. So it is simply this: I will follow the call of Christ by the guidance of His Spirit through the Word and if that means I need to move from one p[lace to another or from the company of one group to another, then so be it. The fact that that situation came to exist in the first place is neither the fault of the departing group for not providing what I felt was necessary nor the result of the arriving group for providing the opposite. There is only Christ and following Him.