Read: For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. (Galatians 6:3)
Think: I have a lot of heroes in the Bible. Who can top young David defeating a giant, Elijah praying fire down from heaven, or Abraham offering his son to the Lord? Amazing accounts of faith, for sure. Lately I have found a new hero who may just top them all for me. He didn't walk on water, build an ark, or stand up to an egomaniac emperor. No, he merely followed Jesus and wrote a Gospel, but nothing too flashy.
The hero I am talking about is the apostle John. Why is he my hero? He is my hero because of how he refers to himself in his Gospel. You see, if I was writing the accounts of the years I was with Jesus, you would probably see my name splashed all over the place. John, on the other hand, didn't highlight all his successes. He barely even mentions his name. Instead, he refers to himself simply as, "that disciple whom Jesus loved."
John even found himself in the innermost circle of the Twelve, yet he saw his identity as one whom Jesus loved. He wasn't going to define himself in any other way. His identity was completely wrapped up in how Jesus related to him. He wouldn't be defined by his accomplishments, by his false impression of himself, by what others said about him, or anything else. What mattered was only that he was loved by Jesus.
I don't know about you, but I struggle with pride. I am pretty sure most of us do to some extent. At its core, pride is a false view of ourselves. The cure to pride is humility, which is to see ourselves as God sees us. And this is why John refers to himself as, "that disciple whom Jesus loved." At the core of his being, who he truly was, was God's loved one. How powerful that is to have our whole identity wrapped up in God's amazing and unconditional love for us.
Ask: In what ways would your daily life be different if your entire identity was defined simply by the fact that you are deeply loved by God? Is this how you see yourself? In what improper ways are you seeking to define yourself?
Pray: Most holy Father, I thank You for loving me. Despite my constant failures, You never let me go. Forgive me for my pride and for seeking my identity in unbecoming ways. Transform me by the understanding that I am a disciple loved by You. Amen.
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