Thursday, March 18, 2010

Voice


Not too long ago, I got into some trouble for what was described to me as my “swagger.” Evidently, some people were not impressed with what they called a “street-wise, Joe Cool” attitude from me. I did not mean to upset anyone. I honestly think there was some type of miscommunication that unfortunately led me to making a bad first impression. Nonetheless, I tried to be more conscientious.

I have done a substantial amount of study on the topic of humility and pride. It is a complicated issue. It seems like sometimes humility is seen as quiet strength, other times it is seen as weakness. Sometimes pride looks like self-confidence, other times it looks like ignorant arrogance. People seem to prefer one or the other in different situations. We want politicians to emanate pride, whereas we like to see humility in professional athletes.

I think that John the Baptist is a good example of someone who had a good balance between humility and pride. In the first chapter of the book of John, he describes himself as a “voice” and a person who baptizes with water. He does not degrade himself or call himself nothing. He knew he had an important role. He also did not inflate himself by assuming the role of prophet. Instead, he defined himself through his relationship with Christ. He basically said he is a human billboard, not worthless or incredibly valuable, yet his value lies in pointing the way to that which has value.

Sometimes I pretend to have all the answers, pointing to my own goodness, which is probably where pride comes in. Other times I can bring myself so low as to doubt his goodness in me. Instead, I want my life to be a voice, a message to the world about the goodness of God.

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