Wednesday, February 27

not mine

I've never thought of myself as arrogant. Far from it, actually. In fact, today I learned that I am A for accommodating!... But it wasn't just the team-building, workday, all-hands on deck, personality test that told me that--no, no, no, it's my life experience, my history, part of and most of what I am, deeply engrained and embodied in the person I was woven to be.

I'll go out of my way to get people to like me, whether that's accommodating to them, even if it's detrimental to me. I'll help men on the street corner, complete strangers down the hall, and family and friends alike. Sometimes, I'm even actually hard on myself, saying that I may not have done enough to accommodate someone.

On the good side of the trait is the hospitality and kindness. I like to have warm, fluffed towels out for guests; I like to have matching plates, silverware and fun glasses on the table for dinner, orange juice in a carafe, and warm inviting scents and music. I like people to feel appreciated, loved, welcome, and cared for. And, truthfully, most of the time I'm hardly thinking about these things--they just seem to pour out.

The dirty side of this trait is the part that believes it my job to make people feel appreciated, loved, cared for, welcome, always right, perfect, better than others...and so on. And what I noticed recently is that I feel compelled--obligated--to save people; from themselves, from people in their life, from trials and troubles. Somewhere along the line, I started to believe it was my job to save people.

When a co-worker told me the other day, "it's not your job to save people", I was completely unaware that I ever believed that it was. But again, I've believed it my whole life. I have watched loved ones walk into dangerous territory and ran after them or in front of them to save them. I witnessed people very close to me making bad decision after bad decision and jumped in front of moving cars, whirlwind tornadoes, and evil itself to hopefully stop or save them.

All the while, who was saving me?

Our God is a God who saves! The Sovereign LORD rescues us from death.
(Psalm 68:20, NLT)

All along, wandering in my own darkness and death, I wasn't concerned with saving myself, but He was. I was watching for roadblocks and potholes for all these people around me, but never for myself. And yet, here I am, working at a Christian college where we pray before work and meetings, big events and often for one another, going to a church on Sunday mornings and praising God in a band and with other people praising God, too, and here I am, in a marriage with a foundation that I never knew existed before. I was saved, but it wasn't because I saved me.

Arrogance is having an exaggerated sense of one's own importance or abilities, and similar words include haughty, proud, conceited, lofty... ouch.

It's lofty of me to believe I can save her from this. It's conceited of me to think I can save him from them. And it's haughty and proud of me to think I can do any saving at all.

These people, whom I love and care for so deeply, are experiencing battles and struggles, but so am I. These people, who remind me how blessed I am today, are people that do not need a lousy human to rescue them from the depths of lions and fire pits. These people are people who just need love, which is all that I can--and need and am required--to give.

It is Him who will save them, not me. Those are battles they are facing, battles they have to save themselves from, but not my battles. They are in need of help, desperate for a grand rescue, but that is not something I can do, not something that is my own responsibility, it is not mine.

They, we, all need saving, but that saving will not come from me, that saving is not something I can even do, the job to save is not mine.

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