It is a bitter-sweet moment when God gives you a new self-realization and you realize you have in fact been sinning OVER and OVER for the last ….FOREVER! Bitter because, I mean who wants to be a sinner? Sweet, because he loves me enough to soften my heart to hear his voice, and his calling of morality.
I am in my third week of Theology 202. This week is all about sin. My coursework goes through what the origin of original sin is. I came across something in my text book, A Theology for the Church by Daniel Akin, that I never considered before in the past, PRIDE! I always considered pride to be something more like an attitude of I am the best, I am the smartest. I never really considered this as something I may actually struggle with because-well, I don’t think those things about myself. I have never thought of pride the way it was described in my text which said,”Pride is attempting to displace God with self or living as if there were only the self and no God.”
For the last 14 years AT LEAST, I have been living my life in complete fear! It is so restricting and confining but no matter what I have done, I just could not be released from daily fears. One in particular is other people driving. I was in a series of car accidents when I was in my early 20’s that were not my fault and it ingrained irrational fear inside of me that I can’t shake! My husband is a fantastic driver; however, every where we go- I need to drive the car because I feel like we are safer! I make sure I watch people around us, and back off from people who are driving crazy, and I also know that if someone is heading straight for my husband and child- I can turn the car so it can hit me instead. I am in control of their safety. In the meantime- I have been “displacing God” with myself in order to make sure this is possible. In the past I have repeated verses about fear over and over in my head, but they never really helped long term. BUT- when I realized this week that I have been actually “DISPLACING GOD” and “REPLACING HIM WITH MYSELF” I was devastated and it made it a lot easier to let go of this fear. God is our protector, not me! No matter how great I drive, or turn the wheel, or watch for other drivers around me I will NEVER be in control- it has always just been a way to suppress the symptoms of my fear. Ultimately- I can’t control anything only God is in control. “All human sinfulness ultimately arises from the failure to let God be God” (Akin). It isn’t the fear that is sinful, but the act of trying taking control of our own destiny to stop that fear that is.