One of the truly commendable qualities of anyone would be the ability to know and acknowledge his limitations. This isn’t a popular thing to do today. Oh, it may be OK to have an idea within yourself, but you certainly wouldn’t want to admit it to someone else! This is the age of self-assertion…of self-promotion…of “you can do anything you set your mind to” thinking.
They’re merely self-imposed, and you need to break free from such shackles. Or so goes the modern mantra.
John the Baptist held a different view. According to Matthew 3, he clearly understood where he stood. He knew he had a role to play in preparing for Messiah’s coming (v. 3), and he did an admirable job, preaching a message of conviction with a call to repentance and announcing the imminent arrival of the kingdom of heaven.
He also had a healthy self-concept, even though the modern psychologist would probably chide him for such negative self-talk. “He who is coming after me is mightier than I,” declared John, “and I’m not worthy even to carry his sandals!” The reason his self-concept was healthy is that it was accurate, and it was accurate because it was based on a right reflection of the infinite value of the Lord Jesus Christ.
How easily pride swells our hearts to the point that we cannot see ourselves accurately nor value the Lord Christ properly. Too easily do we allow an inflated view of self to eclipse the infinite worth and greatness of our Savior. How much better we would be if we consciously humbled ourselves before Him daily, acknowledging His supreme greatness and our utter dependence upon Him.
May the Lord give us the grace to see our own unworthiness.
Hymn for Today: God, Be Merciful to Me
1. God, be merciful to me;
On Thy grace I rest my plea
Plenteous in compassion Thou,
Blot out my transgressions now;
Wash me, make me pure within;
Cleanse, O cleanse me from my sin.
2. My transgressions I confess;
Grief and guilt my soul oppress.
I have sinned against Thy grace,
And provoked Thee to Thy face.
I confess Thy judgement just;
Speechless, I Thy mercy trust.
3. I am evil, born in sin;
Thou desirest truth within.
Thou alone my Savior art,
Teach Thy wisdom to my heart;
Make me pure, Thy grace bestow,
Wash me whiter than the snow.
4. Broken, humbled to the dust
By Thy wrath and judgment just,
Let my contrite heart rejoice,
And in gladness hear Thy voice;
From my sins O hide Thy face,
Blot them out in boundless grace.
5. Gracious God, my heart renew,
Make my spirit right and true.
Cast me not away from Thee,
Let Thy Spirit dwell in me;
Thy salvation’s joy impart,
Steadfast make my willing heart.
6. Sinners then shall learn from me,
And return, O God, to Thee
Savior all my guilt remove,
And my tongue shall sing Thy love
Touch my silent lips, O Lord,
And my mouth shall praise accord
©1997 Christopher Miner Music