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Beating Yourself Up: Humility or Idolatry?

Posted By Denise Miller Holmes on Tuesday

Savvy Article #0907

In our weakness, He is strong. In our inaction, He is forgotten.

Sometimes, in assessing myself, I run into a wad of insecurities. I have been experiencing this recently as I try to branch out and do new things. It’s as if everything inside is betting I’ll fail. You have no skill for that task. No one will like that. You aren’t going to succeed if you try.

Recently, I was out for coffee with a friend. As I sipped my decaf caramel latte, she shared that she was feeling the same way that I’d been feeling. And, she, like me, was immersed in trying new things—attending a new church, starting a new hobby group, heading a new task force at work. Her insecurities were rising to the surface, she said, and it was comforting for me to find a kindred spirit.

Through God’s mercy, right now in my life I’m surrounded with supportive and affirming friends. But, that only helps when I believe the affirmations.

There are two scriptures I’ve been thinking about lately: Ephesians 3:20, “Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us”; and II Corinthians 12:9a, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” (Both NASB)

It seems that God wants to do great things with our lives, and He will use us even when we feel weak. In fact, He may even use the weakness itself to accomplish His will.

Becoming focused on our shortcomings is human. Moses’ first response to God’s request of him was to protest that he had a speech impediment. But when we focus on ourselves, we are really saying that God isn’t enough, that we know better than Him, that we decide who we really are, not Him.

It is clear from Scripture that God wants to do incredible things with our lives, but we must realize our shortcomings are not an obstacle to Him. And, thankfully, we aren’t going to be doing what He asks us in our own power, but in His.

It is difficult to think of putting ourselves down as idolatry. Strong word, idolatry. But, self-abasement isn’t humility. It is the focus on the self to the point that the flesh takes control and decides what is best. The antidote to insecurity, then, is focusing on God, what He is telling us to do, and the power He has to transform us.  If He chooses us for a task, then, just like Moses, we will rise to the occasion.

If we do not take risks and try new things, it is impossible to move into the plans that God has to bless us. We will not go “beyond,” but will stay stuck and safe.

A friend of mine just started a blog, and in her first entry she talked about how she had taken a long time to start writing on the internet. It was her friends and family’s encouragement, and “God telling me to get over myself,” that finally got her to start her blog.

I’m trying to follow her example and do the tasks before me, no matter how uncomfortable I feel. God says go, okay I’ll go. Enough Denise worship.

About The Author

Denise Miller Holmes
Denise Miller Holmes enjoys teaching biblical topics, and especially researching and communicating what Christians believe about the world around them. She sometimes turns established viewpoints on end. A graduate of the University of Southern California School of Journalism, Denise also has a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology, and has been a Christian for over 35 years. She belongs to the writers’ groups Words for the Journey and American Christian Fiction Writers.


2 Responses to “Beating Yourself Up: Humility or Idolatry?”

  1. Joanna says:

    I liked the section on idolatry. I had never thought about it in those terms, but it is the truth. Great post! – Jo

  2. Jan says:

    Great post. I love it when God brings people into our lives that are going through the same things that we are. We know that God is always with us and we are not alone, but it helps to have some friends along side to encourage us.

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