I’m in an introspective mood. Maybe it’s the influence of what I’m reading. John Eldredge’s book, Walking With God, journals his experience of listening to God and walking with Him on a daily basis for one year.
I can only take so much of this kind of navel gazing before I get bored, or uneasy. If I were John Eldredge I’d be wondering why that’s true. He’d probably say I’m afraid to look under the hood (see page 60, “Being Willing to Have a Look”), so, before I give up on this approach, I probably need to look at a few things.
The thing I notice right now is that I am constantly trying to impress myself. Or impress others with myself. Wanting them to know how witty I am, or how inteligent, or good, or clever, or right, or even how beautiful. If there’s a group picture, I look for myself first. I want to know how good I look. I’m usually disappointed. I keep expecting that someone as special as I am should look more beautiful than I do.
There’s something wrong with living this way. It’s not how Jesus lived.
Jesus never tried to impress anyone. Why? Because He knew who He was. He had this quiet, sure confidence about His identity from the beginning. You see it when he was 12 years old, in the forthright and matter-of-fact way He asked and answered the questions of the religious rulers in the temple. You see it, especially, in the way he responded to His “parents” when they asked where He had been. “Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" (Luke 2:49)
Jesus was God’s son, and as such he had His Father's approval. He needed no other affirmation than that.
Because of Jesus, I am God’s child too. That’s my identity. That’s the reality of who I am. I am accepted in the Beloved. When I live in this reality, the affirmation of others, or even of myself, is not necessary.
There is no room for pride in that vision, or insecurity, or guilt. It’s just the way it is. Everything I am and have comes from Him and belongs to Him, and that’s enough.
I want to live in that reality.