For I know from my own experience, as well as from that of all troubled souls, that it is solely our own self-conceit which is at the root of all our disquietude.
There is something profoundly cathartic about giving up your dignity.
The problem is not the dignity, it is the source of your dignity. I was petrified as a child because I heard of these things called termites. What termites did was start eating away at the foundation of a house, then one day your living room floor just collapses. There was nothing more terrifying to me than standing on a foundation that could collapse at any moment.
When it comes to business, I hope your resume is spotless. I hope your GPA is solid and you get a massive scholarship. But before you ever approach God, make sure you have a clear assessment of your crumbling spiritual foundation.
Some part of us rightly fears that termites are eating away at our souls. Some part of us knows that what we depend on for our strength is actually quite weak.
And what is it that we depend on for our strength? Our dignity. As long as you maintain your dignity, a certain quality that demands honor and respect, then you assume you are untouchable. If you are a respectable person, God probably won’t strike you down.
There is nothing that destroys our delusion of dignity more completely than the gospel. The gospel says that not only are we not worthy of respect or honor, it says that we are so unworthy we are entirely helpless to get a shred of honor or respect again. Not your praying, your singing, your church-attending. Not your good deeds (or your bad deeds), not your kind words (or your mean words). Not your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness or self-control. It won’t save you. Our dignity is so profoundly absent, that there is no dignified way of retrieving it ourselves.
So what then? Accept the profound indignity of God’s unconditional love for you. It is not dignified to come crawling to a savior and give him all of your sin, then walk away scratch-free covered in his sufficient righteousness, unmerited favor, and everlasting acceptance. But here is your freedom.