Much of the time, we have the tendency to look at other’s walks with Christ. We are quick to pass judgement onto people. We are quick to tell people that they are wrong. We are quick to gossip and talk about people behind their backs. I, myself, am guilty of doing these very things. We view others as very sinful people. But, there is one question that I have to ask; it is a question I have had to ask regarding my own life. How do you view yourself?
Take a second and think about that question. How do you view yourself? Really think about it. Do you view yourself as a good person? How about as an upstanding, model Christian? Or, do you view yourself as a filthy, wretched sinner? The answers to these questions can have a major impact on your walk with Christ, and it is important that we have the correct understanding of who we are.
One of the best examples of how we should view ourselves comes from the Apostle Paul. In 1 Timothy 1:12-17 we see his example.
“I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Paul is quick to point out his former life, that he “was a blasphemer, persecutor and insolent opponent.” He continues on to say that he “had acted ignorantly in unbelief”. Paul associates these actions with his old self, before he entered the grace of God. However, Paul does not view himself as an awesome, glorious being, now that he has been redeemed. What he says next is what I really want to key in on. He says, “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I AM the foremost.” Note that Paul does not say he was the foremost. Rather, Paul makes it a point to say that he IS the foremost.
This is how we should view ourselves. We need to understand that, like Paul, we are the foremost of sinners. We should view our own sin as worse than anyone else’s. By doing that we will begin to see God more clearly, and we will be even more thankful for the sacrifice that Jesus performed on the cross. It is a humbling thought, I know, and it is one that I have had to wrestle with myself. But, by having this view towards your own life it will help reveal the greatness of the glory of Jesus Christ.