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II Timothy 2:15

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Have you smuged anyone lately? Smugness is the opinion that our own views are always right, and it’s our mission in life to prove others wrong. God calls us to “do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly.” (Micah 6:8) Smugness is the opposite of humility. Smugness is a certainty that our view is right, that our approach is justified, and that the ends justify the means.

In a recent project that I’ve thrown myself into, I made it clear that I believed that I was following God’s call in my life. I still believe that, but I’m also very aware of my own failings and weaknesses. Because of this, I asked my wife to hold me accountable and my pastor to let me know if they felt that I was straying into questionable territory or generally making a fool of myself and tainting my testimony. Humility is about recognizing that there’s only one God and I’m not him.

This short article from Sojourners is right on the mark. There are things about which we can have certainty, but that list is very short. When it comes to the other things, we need to be willing to say “From what I understand, this is what I believe, but I’d like to hear what you think.” In the church, it’s supposed to be a case of iron sharpening iron, which means that we need to hear each other out with an open mind and heart, consider the real possibility that we don’t have all the answers (or at least that the answers we have, may not all be correct), and not draw lines in the sand so easily. I’ve certainly been guilty of that over the years. Only God has all the answers, and when we are more concerned with winning arguments than openly hearing other people out, then we give credence to the world’s opinion that Christians can’t seem to get along with anyone.

I’ve moved into a place in my walk with God where I’ve told Him that my answer is yes to anything He wants, but along with that comes the realization that I have to be willing to allow Him to tear me down to the very foundation of my being and rebuild me (politically, socially, artistically, philosophically, culturally, intrinsically … anything which constitutes my identity.) There’s a lot of garbage and nonsense bouncing around in my noggin that doesn’t serve me or the kingdom, so I have to daily ask Him, “Is my view on this issue or my response to this problem Your view or mine?” I have a pretty good idea that when I disagree with someone and I’m more concerned about proving them wrong, than with getting the mind of Christ, there’s still a lot of work ahead. My heartfelt apologies to anyone who has been a victim of my drive-by smugings. I don’t have all the answers, but my hope is that if I develop a truly Christ-like humility I’ll be more successful in pointing people to someone who does have all the answers.

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