“I have sometimes wondered, friend,” said Aslan (to Reepicheep) “whether you do not think too much about your hounour.”
“I was wishing that I had come of a more honourable lineage.” (said Caspian) “You come of the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve,” said Aslan. “And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor in earth. Be content.”
– from Prince Caspian ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Col. 1:27
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…Romans 8:1
There is therefore now no condemnation for me in Jesus, even as there is limitless condemnation for me apart from Him. They are compatible, even inseparable, in the person and work of Jesus. My lack of condemnation, my honor and my hope are no longer in my perfections, but in His. Though my deepest, darkest attitudes, thoughts, actions and words may be shameful enough to bring low the shoulders of emperors, His righteousness allows me to hold my head high. Though what I lack (as Reepicheep had lost his crowning glory of a tail) or what I offer (the offensive appearance and smell or the seeming laziness and lack of contribution of a beggar) are my shame, I have been filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. 1 Phil. 1:11
What does this mean practically? Well, as Aslan urged Reepicheep the proud mouse, I can spend a little less time worrying about my dignity, my reputation before others, my honor, my “place” in this community or that group…and more time loving others out of the oh so very ever so secure position of being His beloved and being found in Christ. You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Gal. 3:26-28 As Scotty wrote about a week ago in his daily prayer, “It means I can love people and not expect them to give me what you alone can supply. It means I can serve people and not hold them hostage to my selfish ambition and vain conceit. It means I can become more intrigued than irritated with others… more restful than rigid in their presence… more caring than criticizing of them.” Christ in me, not the evaluations or opinions of others, is my hope of glory. Christ in me: the law fulfilling, exact representation of the Father, living and working of Jesus which is growing and maturing in me, is my hope of glory. I walk as a beggar with a head raised to the world not because I am prideful or arrogant or in denial of what others can plainly see but because, as a variation of what Jack Miller once said, I am actually so much worse than can be plainly seen! And the righteousness of Jesus credited to me is so much bigger! If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Phil. 2:1-4 How much of my energy, time, thoughts, emotions, plans, worries, fears are but thinly veiled hunts for my name to be honored, for the satisfaction of my own interests and the pursuit of my own selfish ambition all swimming in vain conceit? How much of these same resourcess are spent in pursuit of the interests of others (and not so they will like me more or even serve my vain conceit in their approval of me!)? He left His seat of honor, His home in Glory, to be made low that I may be clothed in His forever solidified honor. What if I began to enjoy His honor more and need my own less? That would be Good News indeed.