In my former entry, I briefly mentioned many facets of life as an "heiress" of Filipino-Chinese ministry. Yet there is one facet that often encompasses the rest.
I know I am blessed, and I often use this blog to remind myself of that fact. I am privileged to receive the training, the love, the direction, and the provision that came with my position. However, there is one problem. The problem with being treated like "Princess Wenslyn," is that I often fool myself into believing that I really am royalty.
Of the several hundreds people I know, 95 percent do not have consistent contact with me outside of churches or religious organizations. Therefore, these are people who see my angelic side, and that side only. How hard is it to be kind at church? It is relatively easy, and people are usually amicable at church.
What I hear 95 percent of the time, therefore, are praises.
It really gets to the head.
It is usually unnoticeable to the common observer, but even in ministry, there is popularity. When I search my motives for ministry, I often have to confront the ugly polutant of church popularity in my heart. I want to be people's favorite translator, pianist, assistant, BS leader, and the like. It makes me glad to hear people calling my name, asking for my attention.
It really gets to the mind.
Then interpersonally, it gets uglier. When a person thinks of herself as a princess, how would she treat her friends? I know my true self is a pain to be with, and only a few, if any, know those true colors. A princess thinks she deserves admiration from her peers, a princess thinks she is to be ranked as "better" than others her age, a princess believes her charm would enchant any guy, a princess believes she deserves more praises, more attention, more gifts, more friends, more admirers, more esteem than others....as if she had earned any of that at all. A princess believes she is more important than everyone else.
It really gets to the heart. Or no, it really is from the heart.
Recently, God has been showing me the imperfections of Christian leaders, be they my seniors or my peers. That includes, of course, myself. And as I survey the different cases, I find the one common pitfall--pride.
In my case, pride is what fools me into believing I am better than others. Perhaps I may be blessed uniquely. Perhaps I do have certain skills or knowledge that are unusual for my age. Yet those do not make me deserve anything more. In the kingdom of God, a princess is a servant, and His kingdom comes first.
It is a hard truth to chew, and even harder to apply. Yet I know most of my struggles can be lessened in intensity, if I were only willing to listen to God in this one.
I am and I am not "Princess Wenslyn." I am a princess in that I have a portion in my Father's kingdom, but I am not a princess in everything else. I must not dwell upon the praises, I must not "serve" in order to win people's favor, and I must never contend that I deserve more esteem or more care than others do. Then most of all, I must let those principles reign in my heart, beyond pretentious rules of etiquette.
If only I would listen to this lesson, life would be easier. Father, let me learn.