Early this morning, I caught myself falling away.
My eyes opened and rolled towards the clock across the room.
I had just begun mustering the will to rise when I noticed something wrong with my heart. It wasn’t worshiping.
I ran diagnostics on my way to the bathroom. I didn’t revere God because I’d come to think too highly of myself. Once again, I’d confused God’s gifts with personal merit. I’d been indulging quietly in what Paul calls, “boasting” or, as it’s called in older translations, “glorying.” How could I glorify God while glorying in myself?
I’d become the Pharisee, standing before God and praying to myself.¹ How sick!
My fall didn’t start this morning. It’s been going on a while. I just noticed it this morning. Perhaps, God found a part of a second before my ego could repel his Spirit’s voice. I’m glad he did because boasting is the root cause of many other personal ills from which I tend to suffer:
- Disdain for others not as spiritual as I am.
- Blindness to disobedience in my life.
- Resentment of the relative “success” of others.
- Alienation from God.
- Difficulty praying.
- Anger at God manifested as generalized anger and frustration at everything.
- Bouts of deep doubt and self loathing.
God wants us to worship him, not because he’s some cosmic narcissist, but because he’s the source of all glory. If we don’t worship him, we’ll worship ourselves. Self-worship, also known as boasting, brings on every other kind of personal and social ill.
Today, I’m repenting. That is, I’m turning my heart from myself to God – again. Today, I’m going to attend to the repeated counsel of Scripture, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
- Luke 18:9-14