ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Found Guilty Serving God

Updated on December 26, 2009
I went up in flames asking, "What on earth just happened?"
I went up in flames asking, "What on earth just happened?"

God Loves Us For Who We Are, Not What We Do

When I look back to my early days as a new Christian, guilt was an essential tool in my sinful effort to make life work and overcome a poor self-image. Although I was gifted by the Spirit to preach, teach and lead others, I didn't realize that I was doing it to please people rather than Christ. Somehow this baggage of unresolved guilt carried over into the church arena without my knowing. While I was experiencing the tremendous impact of my contribution to the body of believers, deep down inside I felt sensed a nagging need to do more work, more ministry. In wanting to please the Lord more, the ‘god of guilt’ gladly lit both ends of my candle. There was nowhere to go, but to crash and burn. I went up in flames asking, “What on earth just happened?” I was found guilty serving God.

As I rose up from the ashes to dust myself off, I had the opportunity to assess the wreckage. My skewed service for Christ, like fallen debris, was scattered across the ministry field. After picking up the pieces and clearing the mess at ground zero, I came away from that experience with one surviving truth intact: What's important to the Lord is not so much what I do for Him, but who I am in Him. Granted we are responsible to exercise our God-given gifts and not squander them, there's always a fine line drawn between doing it for His glory or ours. Overcoming a poor self-image for me meant having to accept the fact that God loves me just as I am—doubt, pain, fault, shame, all wrapped up in sin. It’s the whole guilt-ridden enchilada. That, by the way, was my "aha" moment! And God's grace never tasted so good.

God loves us for who we are, not what we do. When we stop whatever we’re doing for Him and come to realize what He did for us, in spite of our guilt and failure, His love hits us where it heals—our hearts. The psalmist meditates on God as his refuge and strength. He beholds the Creator’s ways and works then interjects, “Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth” (Ps 46:10). We walk God’s green earth for the sole purpose of exalting Him and not ourselves. To God be the glory. Only then can we begin to exercise our spiritual gifts freely—guilt-free, that is. And the good works we do for Him, we do it in thanks as a way of life (Eph 2:10).

Imagine that. Even if I don’t get to preach another sermon, teach another class or even write another hub, God loves me still. It’s so liberating. I can’t begin to fathom God’s agape love—a love that knows no bounds. As we are made in His image and likeness, we come to discover that we are rich beyond compare. The Lord removed the second “o” in poor, replaced it with “u” and fulfilled His promise to pour out His riches into our lives to overflowing (Eph 1:3). Set free from a poor self-image allowed me to see God through a dim mirror (1 Cor 13:12). “And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit” (2 Cor 3:18). I look into this mirror and I like what I see! This side of eternity, that’s as good as it gets.

© 2009, Gicky Soriano. All rights reserved.

Recommended Reading:

The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God
The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God

The Difficult Doctrine of the Love of God seeks to restore what we have lost. In this treatment of many of the Bible's passages regarding divine love, noted evangelical scholar D. A. Carson not only critiques sentimental ideas such as "God hates the sin but loves the sinner," but provides a compelling perspective on the nature of God and why He loves as He does. Carson blends his discourse with discussion of how God's sovereignty and holiness complete the biblical picture of who He is and how He loves.

 

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Abrushing1968 profile image

      Aaron Rushing 

      9 years ago from USA- Florida

      JD-Those are excellent points. Servant hood and the presence of God. Well said.

      Numbers 12:3 (NKJ)

      Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.

      Moses spent a great deal of time in God's presence (second only to Jesus) and he was God's faithful servant. Thanks JD for the reminder

      GS I appreciate your testimony, It is a warning for me not to neglect my personal relationship with God.

      My "Christ-Esteem" depends on it!

      In Christ

      ABR

    • Gicky Soriano profile imageAUTHOR

      Gicky Soriano 

      9 years ago from California

      ABR Although I experienced liberty from a poor self-image, the struggle, the old wound, raises its ugly head when I drop my guard. There are times when I find myself in the thick of ministry going at breakneck speed. I'm busy about the Master's business that I forget to spend time with the Master Himself. I'm so caught up in the work at hand that I fail or forget to come away with Him. If I'm ministering to everyone else, who's going to minister to me? Who's going to lead me beside still waters and green pastures? Only when I spend time with Christ will I be mindful and thankful that He loves me for who I am. As He restores my "Christ-Esteem," as you so aptly called it, I find rest for my soul.

      JD And yes, coming into His presence brings us to a place where we remember or are reminded who we are in Him. Priests and kings in His service. Amen.

    • Judah's Daughter profile image

      Judah's Daughter 

      9 years ago from Roseville, CA

      ABR, I learned something about "humility" and what it means. It means to accept the whole truth about yourself; not to think lower than you should, nor higher than you should. Jesus says to be great in God's kingdom we must be the servant of all. Even Jesus washed his disciples' feet. The very holiness and presence of God humbles us in His presence, yet we are priests and kings! Hallelujiah!

    • Abrushing1968 profile image

      Aaron Rushing 

      9 years ago from USA- Florida

      I personally do not deal with poor self-image. I struggle with pride . I wish I could say that I do not think to highly of myself, but I find that, I too often do. For me, balance comes when I view my self as Christ views me. I know he loves me the way that I am, but loves me too much to leave me this way. Humility comes when I realize That he had to die because of my sin. I know he sees my "pride issues, they are known to him. I know because he places people in my life on a regular bases that help me see my arrogant self for what I am. I have a long way to go before my Christ-likeness is unveiled by the master craftsmen.

      I would imagine that folks who deal with poor self image would find encouragement in this as well. Knowing that God loves them personally. He finds value in them. Why else would he have sent his son to die for them. They are valuable in his eyes.

      I heard someone use the phrase "Christ-Esteem" instead of "Self-Esteem". I liked that better. It reminds me that we are to find our value and our identity in Christ.

      1 Corinthians 1:4

      I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.

      Thanks for making me think.

      In Christ

      ABR

    • Gicky Soriano profile imageAUTHOR

      Gicky Soriano 

      9 years ago from California

      Taking His yoke and learning from Him made a world of a difference for me. Pulling the load would be impossible if I didn't keep in step with His Spirit. Thank you for that kind benediction. It was personal as it was touching.

    • Judah's Daughter profile image

      Judah's Daughter 

      9 years ago from Roseville, CA

      Very good! I know I rushed out into ministry on fire for the Lord all those years ago and it wasn't fruitful (as far as souls saved) until I let the ministry go, got in the Word, then taught others one-on-one how to study also. I stayed obedient to His ways in my life and when I finally got blessed to go out into the mission field, it was fully supported and I saw hundreds get saved. There's no fruit when we do it of ourselves. It is blessed when all we do we do for Him alone.

      I know with the person I shared with you about, she kept from dealing with her own healing by helping others, but only crashed, as you said. I pray God is healing those wounds, as He's been doing for me over the past few months. It's been a painful process, but a joyous one as well. Christian counseling is awesome, too.

      Thank you for your ministry, and God bless you abundantly as you seek His face and first His kingdom, for He will do greater things than He did as a man through you!!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)