As I was sending a friend a lengthy e-mail tonight, the Lord gave me an epiphany of sorts. He said, "Justin: you have two major issues. Self-doubt and pride."
I would have never considered those as two of my major issues, but I do believe it was the voice of the Lord speaking to my heart. Not only are those my two major issues, but they are very closely related.
I struggle, as I suspect most men do, with self-doubt. I see the accomplishments of others, and, the more I think about it, the more I believe that I will never accomplish such things in my life. How could I? And yet, perhaps as an internal protective measure against my self-doubt, I then struggle with pride. Why can't I? If he can do it, so can I. Not only that, but I'll do it even bigger and better!
For example, even as I write these words, I think that someday someone may read them and believe that I was such a deep-thinker. Why do I have these thoughts? Why can't I just sit and write out my feelings and emotions without constantly wanting to convey myself as intellectual or something. Self-doubt and pride, I think, both play a major role in that.
I often have a desire to quantify everything. Why? Who am I measuring myself to? Myself? Am I only in a race against myself? I measure how long I have been pastoring my church in a list against others. I measure how well-behaved my kids are against others. I measure my physique against others. I measure my intellect against others. I measure my career against others? Why? Why must I do this? What is it in me (self-doubt and pride, of course) that cause me to do this? I want to quantify how many people I have lead to Jesus. For what? For myself? For others to be impressed with me? I don't think so; I think it is much more for me than anyone else. But, why? I hate this about myself. I loathe this behavior and yet I embody it.
Ah! Another thing to give to Jesus. Take me, Lord, and all my sinfulness and transform me, please. I hate what I am, and I want you to change me. Make me, content, please. You know it is my greatest struggle. Take me and rid me of myself. I love you.