Monday, January 18, 2010

Fasting, pride, and trees

We are in day nine of our 21 day fast. In the prep time before starting this journey God showed me something. He showed me how much of my self image and what I think about myself (if those two things are different) is tied up in other’s opinion of me.

So much of where I find my worth is in other people. On the outside I put on a good show that other people's opinions don't matter to me. What I should be saying is that people who's opinion doesn't matter to me, don't matter to me. In my pride I have filtered out many opinions people had of me I didn't find favorable. I have found my worth in many things. Being the edgy, push the envelope pastor, but that has gotten me to the point of leading a church dangerously close to not surviving. I find worth in what other people say about me. I have people complement me on many things I do. It is all too easy to take all that in and believe every word of it. I guess you come to love how other people make you feel vs. loving them despite how they make you feel. I guess that is why there is a lot of divorce. People love the way people make them feel and when that feeling is gone they don't know what to do. Do I love that person or the way they make me feel? It can be a very fine line.

So what I have been dealing with is basically: Is my worth rooted in the person that Jesus makes me or is it in the image I have built of myself that is pieced together from the opinions of what people think about me? (Opinions which are based in what God is doing in me) Both of these are very close to the fulcrum of going one way or the other. I believe wholeheartedly that the good people see in me is because of what God has done in me. But is my self worth/image built in humility or in pride. If my self image is rooted in who I am because of God it is built in humility. If it is rooted in what other’s think about me because of what God has done in me it is pride.

God is dealing with some very deep emotional roots. God has cut away many limbs and branches and has sawed down the trunk of this issue but now he is digging into the dirt and reaching down to get the roots out of the ground. Unfortunately the roots go down as far as the tree went up. I know how long it took to cut the branches and trunk down. I think the roots are going to take longer to deal with. This fast is just starting to dig up those roots in my life. Its hard though because when people look at my life all they can see is what’s above the ground. Only I and God can see what’s under the surface. This will be a lonely journey to the bottom of this tree.

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