By: Carole L. Haines
14 But when it was now the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began to teach. 15 The Jews then were astonished, saying, “How has this man become learned, having never been educated?” 16 So Jesus answered them and said, “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me. 17 If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself. 18 He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.
The words of this passage just grabbed me as I read them, in particular the part about speaking from ourselves. I have struggled with insecurity most of my life, almost to toxic levels at times. Insecurity breeds the habit of trying to prove ourselves all the time. Prove it to ourselves, to others, even to God. I sensed years ago that I must be quiet and let God vindicate me. This has been a difficult journey, and I have had to place my hands over my own mouth many times (Perhaps not physically, but inwardly). I would catch myself talking about myself again, trying to prove I was valuable, that I mattered and had worth; and God would nudge me to trust Him and stop talking. Jesus says in the passage above, “He who speaks from himself, seeks his own glory.”
Trying to prove ourselves is a form of seeking our own glory. Only God can give our lives value and purpose, but we often seek that from other people. Other people cannot ever give us lasting worth because people are changeable and flighty. I love the verse in James that tells us that with God there is no variation or shifting shadow.
Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. (James 1:17)
God doesn’t change, His love in unalterable. When we come to the place in our lives where we realize people can’t give us our worth and they can’t diminish it either; there is such freedom in that. God, our Creator, is the only one who can give us our worth, and He never changes His mind about us.
6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6-8)
Therefore, let us trust ourselves to the God who gives us our worth. Rest in His love and His declaration of your value. Next time you catch yourself talking too much about YOU, just remember: STOP, DROP AND ROLL. stop talking, drop to your knees (in your heart) and roll your need for significance and value unto God, the one who gives us our value and purpose. His love puts out the fire of self in our hearts.