Friday, March 30, 2012

Smarty Pants

I am pretty sure I have known everything there is to know about the Bible since I was like 5. No, really no one has ever needed to teach me anything, because I know it all. Every youth minister, and pastor, and Sunday school teacher I have ever had can attest to my knowledge.

Or total lack there of. (Proof that I didn't real know everything: In 12th grade I thought that Calvinism had died with the pilgrims. I told my youth minister that. He was a Calvinist. Oops!)

Growing up, I was that kid in church and as an adult I am that woman in church: the one who knows everything. Even worse, I am now armed with an MDiv to prove it.

Seminary should have broken me of this: as the main thing I was confident of upon graduation was that there was so much more I needed to learn. Still, there are some lessons that are just too easy to forget.

Recently, I started taking the Eucharist University Class at my church (aka- Bible study on crack, in which we are given geography quizzes!) Armed with my MDiv I should be doing fine, but I am behind in my reading and realizing with each reading assignment how much I don't know/don't remember. (My professors at Treutt where pretty awesome, so I am more than confident they taught me this stuff: I just don't remember it.)

I am writing this out not simply as another confession on a now very confession oriented blog- but to say what I am learning about my arrogance as I observe it.

  • It makes me silent with fear of being exposed as a fraud, and lazy when I should dig deeper and ask more questions. 
  • It makes me feel superior to people and therefore prevents me from learning from them, loving them, and serving them. 
  • Most significantly it prevents me from living in the way of Jesus and following his example.
When Jesus was 12 he went to the Great City for the Great Feast and his parents left him there. When they returned they didn't find him scared and hiding or even playing. They found him in his Father's House with the teachers. He was listening to them and asking them questions! (Luke 2) If Jesus, the Son of God who gave the scriptures to us, can see the need to spend his time learning and growing in wisdom and knowledge I am pretty sure I should rethink the smarty pants act. 

Even more as I look to Holy Week next week I should remember what real humility looks like. It looks like that same child 21 years later willing to take on the ultimate shame of the cross. Jesus taught with wisdom and truth that changed peoples lives. His knowledge of the Law was perfect. Even armed with more knowledge than I will ever posses: he didn't feel the need to prove himself, instead he gave himself.

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.~Philippians 2:3-11 

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