This morning was not a good morning. I was on Day #5 of the Migraine From Hell and I was heading to the MD for my annual exam and labwork, which means that I had no breakfast and (cue Psycho theme) no coffee. To add to the the melee, I was battling a number of personal demons.
You know these critters. The beliefs and insecurities and obsessions and pathologies that rage within you year after stinking year and you cannot put those puppies to bed and move on with your life. Or you think you have done so only to find one rear its ugly head out of nowhere and you feel stripped of everything you are and all the ground you've covered and you wonder how somethimg so little can still be so big in your life after so long.
Anyway, I was facing down my demons in the car and getting really up close and personal with God and feeling like I was actually making some strides in the demon bashing department. I got kind of excited thinking how I was growing in grace and maturity and maybe people would one day look up to me and think I was wise and BAMMO! Like a 2X4 smaccked between my eyes. I was totally laid low by my self-centeredness.
I've never been good at anything but I seem to be good at this. Somehow I managed to turn a raw and real moment of struggle into race for self-improvement. I wasn't, deep down truly in my heart, interested in dying to my idols and resting in the arms of Jesus. I was interested in moving one more rung up the ladder of the Ginny Turns Into The Wise Woman That Everybody Admires Plan. It wasn't about my worsiping God. It was about wanting others to worship me. Plain and simple.
Tonight I found my problem while reading Tullian Tchividjian's "Glorious Ruin". It is called the theology of glory.
"In the theology of glory, life becomes a ladder. Each little victory or improvement brings us one rung closer to the top--which is always just out of sight........we communicate that God exists for our benefit, happiness, self-fulfillment, and personal transformation. These aren't necessarily bad things, and God isn't necessarily opposed to them, but God in Christ cannot be reduced to a means to our selfish ends. He is the end Himself!"
I may be the only person on the planet that can turn repentance into a self-improvement plan. I am so thankful that the gospel is big enough and deep enough and wide enough to cover this as well.