Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Of Him Whose Holy Work Was Doing Good

one of my greatest faults is that of arrogance.  i have a propensity to believe that i am more virtuous than others and am quick to see what i perceive to be others' shortcomings.  i often catch myself thinking, like the pharisee in luke 18, "God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are . . .," when i should be praying the publican's prayer: "God be merciful to me a sinner."  it is at those times that i think, "how far i am from the kingdom of God."

i know that others see me as a kind and caring person, and i am that, too, but i often fail to realize that these qualities are no reason to think myself a better person than another, that there is no excuse for smugly congratulating myself on my own goodness.  i recognize that my arrogance causes me to be too quick to criticize and too ready to be hurt by the words and actions of others.

how do i become less filled with pride and arrogance?  one way, of course, is to pray about it.  another is to spend more time serving others, reminding myself that this service doesn't make me good, but rather service helps to erase the faults that cause me to do injury to others through my own faults.

as i work through my own shortcomings, my prayer is that i will learn to have the heart of a true servant, one who serves because the love of God is in me, and that each of us will open our hearts to the presence of God and the transforming power of love.  shalom

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