A couple of birthday’s back, I made a list of 29 things that make up my worldview. Here is number 25:
Thinking you’re immature is a sign of maturity. Paul says that the sign of a ‘mature’ Christian is that they know they haven’t yet ‘matured’. It’s a crazy concept, but one of the markers of maturing in Christ is being aware of the fact that you have not yet arrived.
I think about that a lot. I’m always on the look out for the places in my heart where I’m forgetting that I have not arrived. Which is why I was pretty psyched when a friend sent me this great post listing 9 warning signs to watch out for. If you start noticing these things in you life it may indicate you think you’ve ‘arrived’.
1. Think you don‘t need what you preach. If we ever get to the point where we read the Word and think about someone else first, we’re in trouble. When we get excited about applications revealed in the Scripture because of how well we think it’ll preach, we’ve missed it. We must let God’s word go through us first.
2. Not be open to the ministry of the body of Christ. I remember when I first came on staff at a church I had the overwhelming sensation that I’d lost my church. I felt like I no longer had the luxury of being weak, of needing help; of needing ministry. That mind-set led to a pretty dark time in my life.
I’m so blessed to work for a church and a staff now that are constantly reminding me that it’s okay to not be okay. In fact, I’m often reminded that the most dangerous place to be is one where you think you’ve graduated from needing help.
3. Expect of others the perfection that you think you‘ve achieved. About seven years ago I remember meeting with a gal who was struggling with sexual sin and I remember telling her: ‘just stop!’ I was so confused by her inability to control herself.
God taught me the hard way that we cannot manage sin in our own strength. We need a Savior. It’s only when you see and believe that in your own life that you will be able to give grace to others.
4. Feel qualified for more control. I feel inside of me this desperate appetite for the approval of man. It’s so easy to let that longing for glory consume me and make me grasp for a platform that I am not competent to steward well. Sick.
5. Don‘t feel the need for daily meditative communion with Christ. We need Jesus. Every day. And may God forbid we ever forget that.
6. Take credit for successes that only grace can produce. We all know the right answer. We all know that we’re supposed to give credit to God for building our ministries But I have to be on constant look out for those little flags in my heart that indicate I think I’m the one who is doing it.
- Jealousy when someone else takes credit
- Fear of no one knowing my role
- Defensiveness or protectiveness over an idea
- Pride in success or despair in failure
7. Feel entitled to what you could never earn or achieve. Let me just quote Paul: “We are independently entitled to nothing but his anger; only grace entitles us to his accepting love. The smug expectation of blessing will cause you to not only question the appreciation of the people around you but also the goodness of God.”
8. Be less than watchful and protective when it comes to temptation and sin. Ugh. I have failed at this so miserably. I just thought there were things that I would never do. My exhortation: don’t underestimate sin and don’t overestimate yourself.
9. Load more on your ministry than you can responsibly handle. Love what Paul says on this:
It’s pride, not humility, that makes it hard for you to say “no.” It’s pride that makes it hard for you to live within the limits of your true character and strength….We know that God won’t call us to keep one command in a way that would cause us to break another.