I have to admit the first two times I heard it, I was really turned off.
We’ve been to Mexico to build houses with our church three times now. This last trip in February, we heard the same message from the same man for the third time. For some reason though, this time, instead of being turned off by it, I got it.
What is it?
“I suck. That’s what we should wake up every morning and say. God, I suck.”
It’s okay to cringe now. I get it. I did the first two times I heard it. And, I still did a little the third time.
In our culture that’s saturated by memes and mantras that empower us to the “I can” possibilities of every day, it’s no wonder you’re probably thinking well that’s crap.
I mean seriously, who wants to wake up each day with such a negative mindset. I mean what happened to Jesus loves me?
Why Do We React This Way?
Why do we react this way? It boils down to one thing…
In the land of opportunity and possibility, we’ve allowed the messages of “I can ___” to infiltrate even our church culture.
See, the reason I reacted this way was because I missed the point.
Pride says ,“I can.”
Humility says, “God, I can’t without you.”
Pride says, “I have the ability.”
Humility says, “God, you have the ability to, so please do.”
Pride says, “With enough hard work, anything is possible.”
Humility says, “On my own this is impossible, but with you everything is possible.”
Ask pastors and counselors how many times they’ve had someone come sit in their office and confesses pride problems. Seriously, there’s a great irony here.
The Power It Holds
What this man was really saying that we need to wake up each morning and admit our need for God.
However, I’m not sure those words would have been as impactful.
Because my name is Shelly Tiffin, and I am proud.
I’m fiercely independent. I’m the graduate-early-with-honors, competitive, accolade seeker, and I struggle with relying on God in the day to day.
It’s not something I do on purpose. I know I need God.
It’s something I realize after the fact, and something I dislike about myself more and more.
I admitted to my small group the other night that this is one of the reasons I enjoy pursuing large dreams and following God sized plans.
It forces me to depend on God and not myself. When I circle in prayer things that are far more than I can imagine, I rely on God to provide it.
It’s also one of the reasons I love to write. Through writing, God shows me very clearly where He is working and how. He also reveals my sin in a way that I can see it and accept it for what it is.
And, since I’m aware of it, and I’ve confessed it, I have to work on it. The thing is, I can’t do it on my. Only God can clean up this mess in me!
And, that’s the point. Isn’t it?
“God, I need you,” might be a more socially acceptable.
However, when the first audible declaration of the day is “God, I suck!” I’m instantly put in my proper place with the right perspective for the day.
If we suck, we need God.
If we suck, everything we are is because of Him.
If we suck, we take ourselves off the throne and put God back on it. (Click here to read an article I wrote for online magazine everydaywindsheild.com on this topic).
This is where we find hope.
Being positive is a good thing, but sometimes we need to hear the unsugarcoated truth over and over before it can penetrate the noise of the memes and mantras that keep us focused on ourselves.
So, let me leave you with a thought for today.
If you don’t like it, you’re a part of the world’s largest club.
At least you know you’re not alone.
What about you?
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