I used to figure the Lord would humble me by humiliating me. But that’s not His style. He humbles by loving. And what a great plan!

Through love, my self-sufficient ways--fleshly habits--are gracefully hobbled; I am loved and cared for. And, I get help shouldering the weight of my load. In conjunction, I face fear and find that love does indeed cast out his sniveling face.

For those of us with successful, independent habits, experiences—like pain—reveal the true nature of our fleshly propensities. These are good reminders.

The product of exemplary flesh looks good, but the fact remains: The flesh always produces sin whether it looks good or not. Remember: Nothing done in the habit of flesh is of any worth to God.

If you have ineffective, crummy flesh you don’t have much trouble identifying your sin. It looks sinful. However, the insidious nature of can-do, got-it-together, lucrative flesh-habits is that it looks good, is self-sufficient, and does elicit love and acceptance. It appears to work.

But Father God isn’t buying this plan. Everyone else may, but He won’t.

Whether sin looks nasty or pretty is irrelevant. Sin is independence and God hates independence because it cuts Him out of the picture. He wants to carry a whole lot more responsibility than simply delivering us safely to heaven’s throne when we die.

He’s into living life.