Belittlement: Part 2
Are you ready for some good news?
You’re the pinnacle of God’s creation!
“…what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.” (Psalm 8:4–5, ESV)
Tony Campolo tells of a friend who became concerned about her young son who was by himself in his room in the middle of a horrific thunderstorm. Concerned that she might to find him scared to tears, she raced to his room and was shocked to see him spread eagle against the window glass.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
The lightening flashed again and the boy responded, “I think God is trying to take my picture!”
In Psalm 8, David acknowledges two truths that seem contradictory but are simultaneously true:
“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:3–4, ESV)
In other words, when I compare myself to the grandeur of the universe, I feel so small. How could someone as small as I am be important in the grand scheme of things.
But, at the same David heralds a contrasting truth that is essential:
“Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet….” (Psalm 8:5–6, ESV)
In other words, I may feel small, but I’m actually honored among all the creation. I must be enormously important.
Many suggest that the problem in our culture is that people love themselves too much. I would argue the opposite. The problem is not too much self-love, but too little. The problem is not too much self-love; it is too much self-absorption.
I chuckle at the little boy spread against the window, but it is actually a profound picture of emotional health. The God of the thunderstorm is vast, powerful and mysterious. Clearly, I am not in control. Yet, in the midst of the glorious storm, God has His eye on me. Consideration of the grandeur and power of the cosmos might make me feel small, but it is not an invitation to belittle myself. You are the pinnacle of God’s creation. And that’s the Gospel!