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Hi. I have a problem. Okay, I know that’s not new. I’m a sinner. Sinners and problems go hand-in-hand like Elvis and a velvet canvas. The difference is that sometimes, when we get slow down, meditate on God’s Word and allow His Spirit to speak to our heart, we can receive enough grace to discover problems we possessed but couldn’t put a finger on. So when I say I have a problem, I mean I’ve seen something in my life that’s I didn’t before.

It’s the sin of self-promotion.

It’s almost funny that I was so oblivious to this in my life, but now as I’ve narrowed down the problem in my heart I see it everywhere!

Over the past few weeks I’ve talked with a friend of mine who said that when he struggled through stuff like that it came down to him trusting (or not) the Gospel to be his validation and security. They were good words. Adding to that line of thought was a message I heard this week by Pastor Tim Keller on preaching the Gospel. One of the key thoughts he addressed was that the sin we exhibit usually has a deeper root sin as its cause whose cure is almost always the Gospel. Again, for what was going on in me, they were especially good words.

I’ve come to realize that when you boil it all down, my sin of self-promotion is due to my inability to trust the Gospel. Wanting others to see me a certain way emanates from my lack of faith that Jesus is my identity and the Cross my confession. As a result, I feel the need to validate myself before others even though that question has already been answered by the Gospel.

So I thank God for the past seven days. I’m grateful he gave me eyes to see that which kept me from living the Gospel out in my life. I know there’s more stuff in me to be dealt with but at least one stone was overturned in me that, up to now, hadn’t been. Now I simply ask that he might give me the grace to mortify that problem, and all others, which keep me from trusting in the Good News.

What are you trusting?

Picture of Yancey Arrington
Dr. Yancey C. Arrington is an eighth generation Texan, Acts 29 Network and Houston Church Planting Network fan, and Teaching Pastor at Clear Creek Community Church in the Bay Area of Houston. He is also author of Preaching That Moves People and TAP: Defeating the Sins That Defeat You, and periodically writes for Acts 29 and The Gospel Coalition.

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