God, chef extraordinaire

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less. – C.S. Lewis

imagesThis week I started reading “The Screwtape Letters.”  It’s a fantastic fiction novel written by C.S. Lewis.  In the novel, C.S. Lewis claims to have found letters from a Senior Demon to his nephew, a junior tempter.  The senior demon, Wormwood, instructs his nephew how to better entice and misdirect a young British man.  The novel really gives great insight into how we are potentially attacked on a daily basis on many different levels.

In one of the letters the British man has made some new friends (not good ones) and it states that humility is self-forgetfulness.  In and of itself “humility is self-forgetfulness” is not that great of a revelation.  But if we go a little further with this, we can really learn something.  Bear with me here 🙂

I’ve pondered recently how to balance being humble with the fact that we are so special to God.  There are endless passages in the Bible describing how precious we are to God.  

a87e2c167e6fa07b31dfd5ba8c65f108Everything God has created is GOOD.  Not MOST or SOME things God created are good.  The Bible says Everything created by God is good.  

We are described as treasures to Him, His friend, and His children.

Treasures are precious and invaluable.

Friends are people who are close to us and we share our joys and life experiences with.

We pour out our hearts and sacrifice everything we have for our children.  We hope to pass the best of ourselves to our children.

How do we reconcile this with being humble?  If God supposedly sees us as “so special,” how are we supposed to be humble?  If you hear day and night how awesome you are, how do you fully believe and accept God’s promise as truth while still remaining humble?

The thoughts in my head are very contradictory.  

Me: “You can do anything, Scully.  God is supporting you and you are a princess in His eyes.  Nothing can hold you back, don’t be afraid.  God has promised this to you, He hasn’t given you a spirit of fear.”

Other voice in my head: “Hold up here.  You are getting WAY ahead of yourself.  You may think you know what you’re doing, but I’m pretty sure you’re being prideful.  If you are giving yourself THAT much credit, then you aren’t thinking low enough of yourself.”  

Here’s where my thoughts were stuck at:  Being humble must mean degrading yourself just enough, but still believing you are loved.

That is WRONG.  Being humble is not self-loathing to any extent.

Being humble is self-forgetfulness.  It’s not about downing yourself everytime you think something nice about yourself.  It’s about accepting God’s truth that He speaks to us, and then directing our thoughts toward sharing that with others.  He wants us to think great thoughts about ourselves and all of His creation at the same time.  No competing with one another, only celebrating God’s awesomeness in creating tons of awesomeness.

The illustration I came up with to drive this point home might demonstrate better how God’s creation of us is meant to glorify Him (and how we can be humble without downing ourselves.)

Imagine you’ve been invited by the world’s most renown chef to a banquet of exisquitely prepared dishes.  There are thousands upon thousands of foods to taste.  You’ve been gifted with the ability to try everything without ever getting full or gaining any weight, so you are able to try every single delicacy there.  As you try the first dish, the distinct flavors combine effortlessly on your tongue.  It’s so delicious and it’s so unique, you can’t even determine one ingredient in this dish.  Good thing you aren’t being quizzed on this.  You’re only job is to enjoy.  You tip your hat to the chef, and move on to the next dish.  This one is equally enjoyable, but the impression this food leaves on your palate is more cool, calm, and sweet.  You relish each course you try, as they are all equally pleasing in unique ways.  The moment you are done with one food, you are completely wrapped up in the taste of the cuisine that follows.  One dish doesn’t take away from the next.  The chef stands in the background and you can’t help but continuously praise His expertise, proficiency, and mastery.  

Wouldn’t it be ridiculous if the food started quarelling about which dish was better? What if the food started arguing with you about if it tasted good?  Can you imagine the food bragging and boasting about itself?

No, the food would be content to be enjoyed.  It would be glorifying the chef right along with you for all the amazing foods around it.  Self-forgetfulness.

Although comparing humans to food with God as the chef isn’t a perfect analogy, it serves its’ purpose for this particular discussion.  How to balance thinking highly of ourselves and remaining humble at the same time.

Have you ever struggled with humility?  I’d love to hear if what you have to say, please comment!

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35 thoughts on “God, chef extraordinaire

  1. I’ve likened it before to clay. As the Bible says, He is the Potter. It would be like a carefully made clay pot, smoothly molded to hold soil and a plant, and an intricately crafted urn shaped to hold nothing more than a single rose arguing with the potter about their respective designs and purposes. Each are beautiful, perfect and utilitarian in their own way, made uniquely to serve the potter’s vision.

    Humility comes in recognizing your uniqueness and beauty, and serving that purpose for which you are designed.

  2. God told me thanksgiving circumvents pride. Humility births thanksgiving which innately gives props to God and not us. I’m special, I’m a holy nation, a Royal Priesthood, a child of the Most High God and I owe it all to Him! Ask God to maintain His heart of gratitude within you; that’s how you can “wear” your identity in Christ as Abba’s gifted princess and remain estranged from pride. Thank You, Jesus, for it all! =0)

  3. To be “Poor in Spirit”, to have true humility is to understand how great God is and how sinful you are. It is to understand that in every way you are unworthy. God is so far away from us, so other than us, that we need a mediator. That mediator is Christ. Christ paid the price for sin, and that price was death. Everyday I am worthy of only that death, but Christ paid that price for me. Not only did he pay that price for me but he gained heaven and adoption for me as well. True humility is understanding it is none of me, but all of Christ. Like the story of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector in Luke 18: 9-14. “Have mercy on me a sinner.” The greater God is and the more you understand your sin, the mightier salvation becomes leaving no room for self, and no room for pride.
    The Screwtape letters is an awesome book. I hope you enjoy it!

  4. Everyday is a struggle, not that I have anything to boast about, but because living for myself is so much easier than submitting to God. Humility is something that we all could use more of. Great quote by Lewis!
    Thanks for the follow and I look forward to following your blog as well!
    Brandon

  5. I love that book! I feel like as I read it, I was looking into a mirror and noticing so many blemishes. You’re a great writer 🙂 Keep it up!

  6. Wonderful post and well written! For me it always goes back to my relationship with God. Am I fostering a nurturing, deep and intimate relationship with Him on a consistent basis? From there all of God’s characteristics flow. It is a daily choice to allow the Holy Spirit to lead us.
    Thank you for the follow, I look forward to reading more of your blog.

  7. I’ve always considered humility to be akin to false modesty, a characteristic I have long thought to be extremely irritating.
    Obviously as an atheist, I’m seeing this from a different perspective, but nevertheless I can’t help thinking that being proud of any personal achievement is perfectly natural and should be encouraged.

    • False modesty. Ugh! I feel you. I have to tell me how much I appreciate that you took the time to comment, even though you don’t have the same beliefs. After my post the other day, you could’ve easily unfollowed me and gone about your own blogging to-do’s. Thank you 🙂

  8. Hello!
    I also just began reading Screwtape Letters and I must say reading a single page or so always starts an exciting thought pattern. I really have to revisit my thoughts on Human virtue and vice each time I open that book.
    Thanks for sharing your subsequent thoughts on self-forgetfulness

  9. Pingback: Day 291- Write Mortal, Write! | Amy Who?

  10. “Celebrate God’s awesomeness,” you say. That’s a good way to combat pride right there. Any shred of awesomeness manifested in my life is the direct result of God’s work through me. If I turn every prideful thought into praise, humility will have a chance to flourish!
    Thank you very much for becoming a follower of my blog. I am honored you find the posts meaningful.

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