Overvaluation of Self

Today I will share with you two short devotionals – one about having an accurate view of self, and the other about the daily presence of God …

You have all heard much about mealtime at our home, one of the favorite times of the day. How I am ever going to feed these guys when they grow bigger is beyond me. We just don’t know what it would be like to have a picky eater. Aaron is especially fond of meals, which is obvious to all, I suppose. He is all business at the table.

Diana and I wish that the boys’ manners matched their appetites. One particular night not long ago, the demolition was particularly out of control and Nathan and Benjamin were being severely reprimanded. Aaron was too busy eating to be in much trouble and escaped the verbal assault.

After the smoke had cleared, and as the older two wiped the tears away, Aaron grinned and quietly said, “Mommy and daddy, I’m always a good boy!”  I about died trying to hold in the laughter, and in the end it just all came flooding out from everyone.

Aaron’s self-evaluation was surely an exaggeration, but similar to one that many people make. The world is full of folks who know they are not perfect, yet feel they are basically good enough to declare themselves generally righteous.

The problem may be found within the church as well. Many Christians may continually disregard God’s instructions in areas of faithfulness, yet still feel that the situation is not really that bad – that they are basically good Christians. Often the problem is not what we do wrong, but rather what we do not do right.


God’s Presence   

My three guys are like most children their age in that they hate to go to bed. On top of this, they have apparently inherited their parents’ tendency toward being “night people.”

Very frankly, I hate kids’ bed-time. It is often as if the boys are trying to quickly release all of their leftover energy from the day, before they reluctantly have to go to sleep. Clothing is flying through the air; beds are being cleared of blocks, dinosaurs and books; child Olympians are training for the long jump on their beds; the heavily-congested traffic flow between the bathroom and bedroom leads to numerous head-on collisions; toothpaste is dripping from the vanity while torrents of water sweep across the floor; and blonde-haired little munchkins are stashing their pillows with after-dark delights like matchbox trucks, glowbugs, kazoos and chapstick.

It is immediately after this scene that the Buchman boys usually do their Awana work. Aaron has started Cubbies this year and has been learning the days of creation (can you recite what was made on each of the days?).

Diana went through the first six days with him in good shape, he got them all correct. Then Diana said, “And what did God do on the seventh day?”  Aaron exclaimed with a big grin, clearly emphasizing each word, “HE … WENT … TO … BED!!”

Oops. Right concept, wrong answer. God did rest from his work, but I can’t quite see him catching a few Zzz’s.

The Bible tells us in Psalm 121 that God never slumbers nor sleeps. Man, aren’t you glad about that? God’s conscious presence is with us at all times.

Psalm 139 declares this very idea. It tells us that there is no place we may go to escape his presence, not even at the bottom of the sea. Neither does the darkness of night stop God, for it says, “The darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee”

The knowledge of God’s constant presence is for us a comfort, in that He is ever available to help us in difficult times; but also it is a warning, in that He knows and sees our every step and move.

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About Randy Buchman

I live in Western Maryland, and among my too many pursuits and hobbies, I regularly feed 3-4 hungry blogs. I played college baseball, coached championship cross country teams at Williamsport (MD) High School, and am the editor of a Baltimore/Maryland sports blog called "The Baltimore Wire." My main profession is as the lead pastor of a church in Hagerstown called Tri-State Fellowship. And I'm active in Civil War history and work/serve at Antietam National Battlefield with a Guides organization. Occasionally I sleep.

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