I love the Apostle Peter. He’s like most of us and knows what it’s like to be self-centered and a bit egotistical. Scripture passages that share his early antics comfort my heart. I see clearly that if God can redeem Peter, surely I’m redeemable, too. To prove my point, check out the passage on the Transfiguration as written in Mark 9:2-5:
… Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. … And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
The author of the Gospel of Mark (Early Christian tradition ascribes it to John Mark, the companion and interpreter of the apostle Peter), painted a beautiful picture of self-importance and even arrogance in Peter’s words, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah”.
I’m not coming down on Peter. In truth, I feel akin to him. More times than I’d like to admit I, too, get wrapped up in my own self-importance.
It’s probably something we should all be leery of.
It’s a dangerous trap when Christians think, Good thing I’m here, Father. I can save the day. We forget that our relationship with our Heavenly Father is as one redeemed, not as a consultant.
True, Scripture tells us we are highly honored and made a little lower than angels (Hebrews 2:6-8). But we are still sinners in need a redemption. The Son of God—pause a minute and think about that … The Son of God—became flesh so he could restore God’s relationship with mankind. How do I have the audacity to believe He needs my help?
Yet sometimes I do.
Striving to get over my arrogance, I remind myself daily that His plans are perfect. I am the one who needs to see what I can do to support them.
I don’t think I will ever fully comprehend the full magnitude of God’s great love for me this side of Glory. But what I do know is that I want to be aware and on guard for ugly Christian arrogance and self-importance that tries to control my heart.
What do you do to be on your guard against self-importance?