Last night I was awarded the ‘Virgin Activist’ (previously named ‘Club Super Star’) for the first quarter at work. I think this is equivalent to the ‘Employee of the Month Award’ but it’s awarded every quarter at work. I love my job. And it’s been such a blessing after years of trying to find a workplace that will take me for who I am.
And I kinda knew I was in the running for the award when I’d received so much praise from the managers (we call them HODs = Head of Department). And I was convicted, since I’d been avoiding telling everyone what I actually do on a Sunday morning, that I should use that opportunity for the glory of Christ. In a way, it kinda felt like I was ‘coming out of the closet.’
So, I was finally called up there to receive the plaque. And with my eyes downcast for the entire time (Someone called out “speech!”), I spoke:
I am subject to your mercy when I screw up.
I guess I work hard because I follow Jesus, and because he’s my greater boss, I work even when no one’s looking.
was the response I got after I asked a client at my gym how he felt about that exercise.
I find is so incredible that we can be so aware of the things that humble us and not so much so of the things that puff us up and make us behave as if we’re better than everyone else. But even more incredible is that it’s the things that humble us that can make us feel the most incredible.
Humility’s a subject that I seem to have made a hobby of studying over the past few years. I’ve enjoyed reading John Dickson’s ‘Humilitas: The Lost Key to Life, Love and Leadership‘ and C. J. Mahaney’s ‘Humility: True Greatness’. But I think the most significant insights I’ve made on the subject have been through listening to Tim Keller’s sermons, particularly ‘The Sickness Unto Death’. In it Keller reveals how much we need God’s praise, and that all alternatives to God’s praise will ultimately fail. But more importantly, it is because in Jesus God brought his punishment so that we could get his praise that we truly humbled (and truly exalted at the same time).
Previously on Protestant Pat: William Carey
APOLOGIES: for my tardiness in delivering this post.
I am not up to an ideal and consistent blogging pace.
It would be easier if I had concluded my testimony at the day of my conversion as if to suggest that I ‘lived happily ever after’ but that would be far from the truth. It seems like every joy-filled realisation mixed with the circumstance I found myself to enjoy them in were not ideal. And many of my brothers and sisters in Christ would probably attest to experiencing similarly difficult circumstances, or if I may ‘sufferings’, in their conversion stories.
But in order to put this chapter of my testimony in its proper perspective, I think I need to explain the Scriptural text that retrospectively inspired my actions.
APOLOGIES: for my lack of posting. I’ve had multiple technology issues.
Here is a post that I’ve transferred from my facebook Notes and is the result of several years of chewing on this bone:
I still don’t understand the current catch-cry by Christians to ‘man-up’ when manning-up doesn’t necessarily lead to justification by faith in Christ alone. If the ‘man’ you’re supposed to ‘up’ into is one that is justified by Jesus, he has to realize that becoming a ‘man’ (of God, if you want to use the tag) is not, afterall, the final goal. I am afraid that those who think they are already a ‘man’ might think themselves morally superior to those that aren’t, and those that aspire to become a ‘man’ might envy those that think they are. Really, the man has to shed himself of his manliness (and his reliance on his manliness) to realise that Jesus has become the man God wants him to be. Jesus died on the cross carrying the man’s failures by God’s judgement on him. God’s verdict for Jesus is then given to the man who has faith in him. And the man turns from being a ‘man’ into a child of God, his Father.
EPILOGUE: A humble identity “in Christ” (see Ephesians 1) gives us the freedom to take responsibility for its own sake as a “good work” (cf. Ephesians 2.10). That includes, especially, taking the responsibility to bring up your family with the knowledge and the joy in the Gospel.
EDIT: Responsibility only becomes a freedom in Christ because
Our failure to be responsible is substituted by Christ’s success in being responsible, firstly to God, then to his people.
We are not enslaved to striving for success in responsibility as a means of justification from God or other non-God judges.
Thus responsibility, despite what frustrations may come before the return on Jesus, is actually eternally worthwhile and is enjoyable only because of the man who was most responsible: Jesus.