Staff Corner – Greg Spires - Teaching Pastor
A courier driving a small car tells the story of having a large vehicle following extremely close. It was winter, and the roads were snow-packed. The courier looked in his rear-view mirror and saw a four-wheel-drive truck right on his rear bumper. The courier didn’t feel he was going too slow, so he wasn’t sure why the driver behind him was so close. Also, there was a stoplight coming up.
As the courier slowed in anticipation of the light turning red, the truck behind him suddenly swerved to the left and passed his small car at a high rate of speed. The truck driver yelled something out of the window that indicated he felt the courier was holding him up.
In the meantime, the light ahead turned red. The courier slowed for the light, but the truck was traveling too fast to stop in the snowy conditions. As a result, the truck slid through the intersection and had a collision with another vehicle. It got worse for the truck driver as a police officer at the intersection saw the whole event.
We might derive some satisfaction from this story as a poorly behaved driver (the truck driver, to be precise) received what his actions deserved almost immediately. There is something in us that resonates with justice being served on those who are acting so arrogantly.
Well, that is, unless that one with the pride is us.
Romans 12:3 says, “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” When we experience God's grace, we get to see ourselves from God’s perspective. To experience God’s grace, His Spirit brings us to the place where we see how much we need God’s grace. There really is no room for pride and arrogance in that moment of need.
A life of grace, then, is a life lived in the reality of knowing how much we need God and His work in our life. One way we can notice that we aren’t seeking to define our life by God’s grace is the presence of impatient entitlement or arrogance, like we observed in the driver above. Arrogance says I know what is best, and the sooner everyone else gets on board, the better.
When pride begins to creep into our minds, it is good to have the Scripture guide us. 2 Corinthians 5:9-10 says, “So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” These verses tell us the important thing is pleasing God. Not only that but there will also be a day in the future when every Christian will stand before God and look at the details of their life. At that moment, we will no longer be so captivated by what we think is best. At that moment, we will be wholly focused on what God thinks is best.
Job 37:23-24 helps remind us that God “is great in power; justice and abundant righteousness He will not violate. Therefore men fear him; He does not regard any who are wise in their own conceit.”
The police officer in the story above was not impressed with the truck driver or his big truck. The officer’s job was to take action to enforce the law based on the facts of what occurred. So likewise, when we stand before the Lord, He will consider His ways, holiness, and purposes alone with no regard to how important we think we are.
It is a work of God’s grace that He calls us to see ourselves rightly by keeping that day in mind. It is God’s gracious work of delivering us from the burden of having our lives revolve around ourselves. God knows, as our creator, we will only be satisfied if we find our lives centered on Him alone. Therefore, this work of God to humble us is a profound work of His grace.
I look forward to being with you this Sunday as we celebrate the work of God in Jesus Christ together! This Sunday, we will be seeking God through His Word in Romans 12:1-8.
Praying with you,