Friday, November 16, 2007

Living with Contradiction by Esther de Waal

I saw this excerpt from the book "Living with Contradiction" by Esther de Waal and thought I would share it with you today. I think all of us struggle with a need for affirmation, which contain elements of pride. Maybe we should ask the same questions as the questions found in the quote below:

"The journey by which we discover God is also the journey by which we discover, or uncover, our true self hidden in God. It is a journey that we all have to make. It is easy to play the world's game which is the power game, the game which depends on setting myself apart from others, distinguishing myself, seeking the limelight and looking for applause. I find that it is only too easy to become compulsive in my continual need for affirmation, for more and more affirmation, as I anxiously ask Who am I? Am I the person who is liked, admired, praised, seen as successful? My whole attitude towards myself becomes determined by the way in which others see me. I compare myself with others, and I try to emphasize what is different and distinctive about me. Those three temptations which Christ faced in the wilderness are equally my own temptations:
to be relevant
to be spectacular
to be powerful
Am I able, like Christ, to put them down? Am I prepared to shed all these outer shells, of false ambition, of pride?
Am I ready to admit that the mask is a disguise put on to cover up the insecure self? and the armour a shield to protect the vulnerable self? Am I ready to receive a new self, based not on what I can achieve, but on what I am willing to receive?"
(End of quote)

God wants us to conform to the image of Christ, not the image of the world. We must be careful in how we conduct our lives that we live it according to God's design for us rather than the affirmation of the world. God expects us to strive to do our best, to be good at what we do for Him, not to receive glory for ourselves, but to bring glory to God. We are to have the mind of Christ, not the desires of the world. What conflict that sometimes causes us as we go about our daily work.

One more quote by John S. Dunne:

"As I explore the height and depth and the breadth of life, each discovery I make about life is a discovery about God, each is a step with God, a step toward God."

May your walk with Him today be one step closer to God and His will for you!


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