Failure and humility

Kevin Haas is a former IV Staffer and is currently the pastor of By Grace Community Church. He used to rock the blob at Rockbridge and rock the campus at CNU with his powerful preaching and evangelism. When Kevin speaks, I pay attention.

One time, I heard him say that he spent an entire year studying and meditating on the connection between boasting and the cross. I was floored. A whole year? How much could there be, man? But this was Haas speaking and I could see that he was powerfully impacted by his study of boasting and the cross.

You see, at the cross, all our boasting is stripped away. All our successes look like failures when we see the impact of our lives, the God-Man is dying on that cross in our place. Who can boast before the cross?

But when we see our sins stripped from us, placed on another, and nailed to the cross, a funny thing happens. Interesting funny, not "haha" funny. While we watch and experience this, we become humble. Our boasting in ourselves is cut off and replaced with something else, a new kind of boasting, a new assessment of ourselves. We no longer boast because we are worthy, but because - though we are unworthy - we are loved.

Now, we inevitably try to smuggle our good works into God's gift of grace, we inevitably turn from the cross and forget the source of our humility. I know that. But in those moments, in those moments when we stand at the foot of the cross and are reminded of grace, in those moments, we are humble. As John Stott wrote: "It is there, at the foot of the cross, that we shrink to our true size."

The cross protects us from being both puffed up and cast down. To take the idea from Chaplain Park, you can't think that you're somebody or nobody if you're part of His Body.

Please, remember the cross. Meditate on what the Savior has done for us. Remember who you were and what it cost to make you who you are. Remember who you are in Christ and the value that you now have to God. Our moral failures put him on the cross, but on the cross he has broken our failures and rescued us to be united to him. How wonderful, the cross!

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