Have you ever done something – painted a picture, sang a song, written a poem, cooked a meal, sculpted something, or anything else – you’re really proud of? Has your creation then looked at you and told you that you messed it up? Think for a moment how that would feel. (Let’s ignore the fact that none of those things could actually speak to you…) If you can’t picture that, think how it felt if someone else has ever told you how badly you screwed something up.
So, when was the last time you did that to God? Have you ever told Him that He made a mistake when He designed and knit you together? Maybe you haven’t told Him that directly, but perhaps you have told yourself how ugly you are or how you are a failure or that you can’t do anything right? Do you realize that in those moments when you talk about all the flaws you see in yourself, you are telling your Creator He messed up?
Growing up in the church, I got the idea that in order to avoid the sin of pride, I had to avoid acknowledging the good things in myself. When someone would compliment me on my singing, I would deflect the comment somehow, feeling awkward at accepting any kind of praise. The same went for comments about my looks, skill with kids, intellect, or any other talent or aspect of myself that a person might bring up. It felt prideful to agree or even to express gratitude at being recognized for anything I did.
Then one day, during a teaching I was listening to, the lecturer briefly mentioned Romans 12:3. “For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” The teacher highlighted the words “sound judgement” and encouraged us not to sell ourselves short. He said that false humility is as prideful as arrogance.
Recognizing the strengths, gifts and talents God has given you is not equal to being prideful. It is not arrogant to simply say ‘thank you’ when someone remarks how well you do a specific activity. If you can sing, sing loudly and use that gift to glorify the one who gave it to you. The same goes for any talent you have. Don’t bury your talents in fear of falling prey to pride, thank God for them and use them to bring Him praise and glory.
Next time you look in the mirror, instead of looking for flaws and things that must be covered up, thank your Creator for the beauty that He put in you. Look for reasons to thank Him for designing and forming you the way He did. Let’s look at ourselves through the eyes of our Creator, and in all humility, thank Him for making us the way He did.