“I’m so very ‘umble” – Uriah Heep, Jennifer Lawrence, and You

220px-jennifer_lawrence_sdcc_2015_x-menI happened across an interview with Jennifer Lawrence the other day where she was asked, “Do you believe there’s an afterlife?”

 

Her answer was, “No.  That’s a reaction to innate narcissism.  To think that we don’t have to cease to exist.”

This year I’ve done a lot of thinking about what I’m going to call the Uriah Heep Mentality.

Uriah Heep is one of my favorite, creepy villains of all time.  Charles Dickens created him to be the thorn in David’s side in David Copperfield.

[Heep’s face] was quite as cadaverous as it had looked in the window, though in the grain of it there was that tinge of red which is sometimes to be observed in the skins

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Artwork by Chris Riddell

of red-haired people. It belonged to a red-haired person—a youth of fifteen, as I take it now, but looking much older—whose hair was cropped as close as the closest stubble; who had hardly any eyebrows, and no eyelashes, and eyes of a red-brown, so unsheltered and unshaded, that I remember wondering how he went to sleep. He was high-shouldered and bony; dressed in decent black, with a white wisp of a neckcloth; buttoned up to the throat; and had a long, lank, skeleton hand, which particularly attracted my attention, as he stood at the pony’s head, rubbing his chin with it, and looking up at us in the chaise.

His hands are always wet, cold, and clammy, like a dead fish, and his catch phrase is calling himself “humble” (or ‘umble) over and over again while being a sycophant to everyone around him.

He’s the type of guy you might feel sorry for except that he overdoes the false humility, and later you find out he’s been sneaking around behind everyone’s back to make sure they come to ruin so that he can own them all in the end.  His hypocrisy is deceptively sneaky and takes a suspicious David and a wise Mr. Micawber to figure out the years of ingratiation, lies, and manipulation that went into his scheme.

The sad thing is, I’ve met Christians with Uriah Heep Mentality.

Christians, who, like Jennifer Lawrence pretend to be “so very ‘umble” by saying that God doesn’t love them, God doesn’t want them, they’re worthless, they’re wretched sinners, and they deserve to be trampled upon and have nothing good happen to them their entire lives.  Maybe you don’t realize it in the beginning, but you realize it was false humility all along when they show you how they really think.

These Christians can also find themselves the most sensitive at the slightest perceived “attack.”  Because how dare others criticize when I am trying so hard and am doing so much better than everyone else. The obsequiousness is often sneaky arrogance disguised under a clammy, skeleton costume.

Don’t get me wrong.  Yes, we are wretched sinners.  Yes, we do nothing to earn our salvation.  Yes, we deserve nothing but hell. Yes, we should bow on our faces before a great and powerful God.  (1 Tim. 1:15, Rom. 6:23, 14:11)

But God.

He does not choose to leave us there.  Uriah Heep Mentality forgets all the other verses that talk about us being inheritors with Christ Jesus, a little lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor, that the Lord delights over us with singing, that we are bought and redeemed with all of His blood, and that heaven and the kingdom is our inheritance!  (Rom. 8:14-17, Heb. 2:7-9, Zeph. 3:17, Is. 44:22, Luke 12:32)

Does the Christ who died to pay for us want us to go around wringing our hands calling curses down upon ourselves and feeling like bruised victims waiting to assume the worst about everyone and everything because crushing ourselves makes us feel better?  Maybe this isn’t your motivation, or maybe when you peel back the skeleton costume, you reveal that it is.  ❤

It’s actually really super ‘umbling to stop and say, I’m loved by the King of Kings.  I’m His princess or prince.  I am made in His image, the greatest part of His creation, His masterpiece.  Jesus calls me His brother or sister and His friend.  I have His same power in me. Nothing can stop me from receiving God’s love.”  (Deut. 10:17, Ps. 86:5, 36:7, John 15:9-17,  Rom. 8:37-39, Gen. 1:27, Eph. 1:19-20, 2:10)

Do those things make you squirm?  They shouldn’t.  They’re taken directly from Scripture.  See all those verses above.

Why do they make you squirm?  Is it because you’ve been bullied and rejected and downtrodden all your life, and you’re afraid to believe in the Sovereign God’s love for you?  Can I recommend Because He Loves Me by Elyse Fitzpatrick for that, just to sit and seep in the beauty and boosting love of the gospel?  He would have died just for YOU, Christian.  If you had been the only human being on earth. ❤ (Matthew 18:12)

Or is it because you actually believe in a works religion, where you have to keep maiming yourself and brow-beating yourself until you’re “holy enough” that the Lord God will accept you, and it pains you to see other Christians happy and rejoicing in their salvation and inheritance and greatness in Christ? (1 Kings 18:27-29, Phil. 1:14-17, Mt. 23:1-4, Lk 18:10-14, Rom. 14, 

Believe.  Doing comes after.  Believe that it’s nothing of you.  That you could never follow all the rules.  That you could never be perfect.  That you have been lifted up out of that mud that you like to throw yourself into.  That your sins are forgiven, and God doesn’t even see them any more.  That Christ’s blood is all He sees, and you are hidden in Christ.  That He will sanctify those stubborn sins step by step and you don’t have to go on hating yourself to make Him like you better.

Christ would love you even if your sins didn’t change.  

(Phil. 1:6, John 10:28-29, Deut 7:7-10, Is. 54:4-8, Hos 14:4-7, 1 Tim. 1:15-16)

Does that feel like heresy?

It’s not.  Scripture says so.  And if His love was dependent on your sins, then you would have some control over your own salvation.  The life on earth is but a breath.  You are saved – you have eternity in heaven.  His love is everlasting, and it doesn’t disappear in this life-breath when you fail. (Jer. 31:3, Ps. 144:4)

And His love doesn’t lessen AFTER salvation, when you keep messing up.  If He loves you when you did nothing to deserve it, why should you somehow change it like a lever later based on the speed or efficiency of your sanctification?

You should want to quit sinning just because you love Him so much that you want to obey Him with all your heart, not because you think you can force your own holiness and bring yourself into better standing with God.  We are supposed to strive for holiness, but we don’t do that on our own.  We do that leaning on and resting in and being with and enjoying God.  Otherwise, we fail. (John 14:15, Mt. 11:28-29, Ps. 37:4, Eph. 1:19-20, Rom. 8:11, Gal. 5:16)

It’s arrogance to assume you can control any part of Him, and that you can affect the Almighty God’s love for you – that you can control it with your own works and life.  His love is steady like the sun, and its existence nothing to do with you.  It IS and it changes you merely because it is His good pleasure to do so.  It will never change, never stop, never lessen, and never disappear.  David’s wife Michal was chastised for stopping David from dancing and rejoicing in the Lord in what is the ultimate story of Uriah Heep Mentality. (2 Samuel 6:14-23)  It is not narcissistic to rejoice that you are an eternal, spiritual being as well as a physical one, to look forward to eternity and to your glorification in a righteous body, seated up with God in the heavens. His blood has paid for your place there, and He wants you to live like you know it! (Eph. 2:6, Ps. 63:3, Hk. 3:17-18, 

BASK in that.  Enjoy that. Be happy and rejoice. Put your tiara on your head and dance around in it like you would the sunshine on a summer day.  It’s your gift, and instead of shoving the gift away, you can live in the light of that glory.

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Photo by ЗДОРОВЬЕ ЧЕЛОВЕКА

God’s love and kindness
    will shine upon us
like the sun that rises
    in the sky.
On us who live
in the dark shadow
    of death
this light will shine
to guide us
    into a life of peace.

Luke 1:78-79

 

FINALIST!

Finalist!Just got really good news! I got what’s technically 5th place in a contest!! Lucent Sylph made “Finalist” in the Reader’s Favorite Award Contest!!

Readers’ Favorite recognizes “Lucent Sylph” in its annual international book award contest, currently available at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B012LWE1AY.

The Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest featured thousands of contestants from over a dozen countries, ranging from new independent authors to NYT best-sellers and celebrities.

Readers’ Favorite is one of the largest book review and award contest sites on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the “Best Websites for Authors” and “Honoring Excellence” awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies.

We receive thousands of entries from all over the world. Because of these large submission numbers, we are able to break down our contest into 140+ genres, and each genre is judged separately, ensuring that books only compete against books of their same genre for a fairer and more accurate competition. We receive submissions from independent authors, small publishers, and publishing giants such as Random House, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, with contestants that range from the first-time, self-published author to New York Times bestsellers like J.A. Jance, James Rollins, and #1 best-selling author Daniel Silva, as well as celebrity authors like Jim Carrey (Bruce Almighty), Henry Winkler (Happy Days), and Eriq La Salle (E.R., Coming to America).

“When the right books are picked as winners we pay attention. We will be spreading the word about Readers’ Favorite.” –Karen A., Editor for Penguin Random House

Readers’ Favorite is proud to announce that “Lucent Sylph” by RJ Conte won the Finalist Award in the Fiction – Short Story/Novela category.

You can learn more about RJ Conte and “Lucent Sylph” at https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/lucent-sylph where you can read reviews and the author’s biography, as well as connect with the author directly or through their website and social media pages.

From House to Home

Looking for Christian young adult issue-driven fiction?  (Fyi, that’s the kind of stuff I write.)

Along with My Fault, this book by Patricia Bell is also on sale for 99 cents this week!  Grab it up now!  I’m going to pick myself up a copy and read it too.

41u4bqm4ualFor fifteen-year-old Karina Murberry, Life is about to change. When her drug dealing mother lands in jail, she finds herself sleeping on a park bench. What’s a girl to do? Just as she’s resolved herself to the idea of entering a group home full of bully’s and cockroaches, her principal discovers a mysterious emergency contact in her file. 
Without any discussion, she is shipped off to a small town away from everyone she’s ever known. And If learning she has an estranged Aunt and Grandmother wasn’t bad enough, Karina must now contend with an Uncle who is younger than her- and not so nice either. 
After overhearing a phone conversation between her aunt and grandmother, Karina suspects that her father, the guy her mother said left them stranded when she was two, could be in this very town. Armed with determination, sharp wit, and her new bestie, Amy, they begin an investigation. 
After all the lies her mother told her, Karina is on a quest to uncover the truth. Along the way, she uncovers long held secrets, experiences real friendships, and for the first time in her life realizes what it means to go from house to home.

Buy on Amazon

My Fault on Sale!

2DGuys, my quirky Christian rom-com with a very Shawn-from-Psych-like character is on sale for 99 cents for the next two weeks ONLY. 🙂

Excerpt:

After what felt like an entire month, and after whistling “Yankee Doodle Came to Town” thirty-three times, the door finally jerked open, and a nurse helped Grayson hobble in.

“Thanks. I can get it from here,” I piped up, jumping to grab the heavy door, giving Grayson my widest Joker-like grin. “Hi!”

He stopped short with a small gasp, as if I had really been Batman’s nemesis and leaped out at him. “Cleo.”

I still couldn’t read his expression. His face was always as still as murky lake water. He kept his feelings deep under the algae, so to speak.

“Yeah, it’s me. Disappointed?”

The nurse shuffled away, calling to a “Larhonda” to get someone named “Clifford” his meds. My mind flashed to the big red dog.

He glanced at me out of the corner of his eye and then focused on the speckled linoleum at his feet. “I… I thought I said you didn’t have to come anymore.”

I held the door with a foot and reached for his arm, pulling him hopping into the room. “Yeah, I’m a bad listener. Seriously. I forget stuff. So… I probably forgot.”

“Probably?” He cocked an eyebrow. After his last hobble, he ended up right in front of me, back slumped over the crutches, eyes lowered to mine.

My hands were around one of his arms and, even though they were probably softer than my athletic brother’s biceps – being an indoor student-type of guy and all – they still struck me as seriously masculine and solid. I gulped. “Yeah. Probably.” My voice dropped off, staring into his ginormous blue eyes.

Those eyes jumped back and forth between mine and he flushed slightly. Trying to twist backward, he moved his arm out from under my small hands. He tried to shut the door with his shoulder, and fumbled. Dropping a crutch, he wobbled, and I jumped into action.

As I chucked my arms around his waist, I planted my feet. “Woah, hold on!” I scrunched my eyes shut tight and buried my face in his chest, holding him up as well as my short frame possibly could. The guy was like six foot. We were probably going down. I held my breath.

But when I realized he wasn’t falling, and instead had steadied himself, and that we were standing wax-figure-still without making a sound, I slowly relaxed. Once again, I was slapped across the heart with the discovery that it had been absolutely ages since I had hugged such a sturdy male frame. Sure felt good.

So maybe I kind of didn’t let go right away.

 

Cassi is in a Coma – FREE Book

51-6kgew0ylMy friend, Krista Wagner, has a new issue-driven book for free!  If you like your YA to have a punch and come from a Christian worldview, this is the book for you.

FREE tonight and tomorrow!

A cross between If I Stay and Remember Me 

A Small Town Secrets Novel Standalone Series – (Book #3)

“You are not wanted” 

Cassi Walker has been Royal High School’s most-liked girl for the past four years, but a lot can happen in two days. Suddenly, she’s the school’s most-hated girl, but before she can figure out why, a ten-story fall off a water tower sends her into a coma. Soon, rumors start to fly that it was attempted suicide. Unfortunately, she has no memory of those final seconds before the harrowing event. Through a strange barrage of dreams, flashbacks, and an out-of-body journey, Cassi will attempt to expose the secrets and uncover the mysteries behind what happened to her. But will she be able to handle the truth? 

Dear Reader,
I dedicated this YA supernatural mystery thriller to those who have been betrayed in the worst kind of way. I wrote the novel when I saw a need to tell a story about someone who is liked by everyone at her school and then is suddenly treated like a pariah without any explanation. Unfortunately, this is an experience that many of us can relate to.

There is a lot of mystery and thrill here. You will find a surprising story that uncovers many secrets through a barrage of flashbacks, dreams, and an out-of-body journey.

Enjoy!

~Krista

PICK UP FOR FREE here on Amazon!

NOTE: I have not read this book myself, but I’ve read a few other books of Krista’s, and, while she doesn’t mince words on serious issues teens face, she’s approaches them with a Christian worldview.  ❤

Myers-Briggs Help for Authors!

Are you an author?

Do you have a Facebook account?

Do you like real, authentic, deep characters?

Are you interested in personality typing?

Are you curious how personality typing and creating characters go together?

Then what are you waiting for?  Join my Facebook group for authors interested in Myers-Briggs help!  Free coaching for developing characters and a happy community of Myers-Briggs aficionados!

Also, don’t forget about the flash fiction contest running until December 1st.  The prize is $100.  Enter here.

MyersBriggsTypes