Thinking Like a Joint-heir
How did you react the last time someone complimented you? Think back. Did you receive it cheerfully? Did you say, “Thank You?” Most people find that accepting compliments is surprisingly uncomfortable. In fact, this is such an awkward event for many that you may be more comfortable with transforming compliments into self-deprecating insults. Perhaps your standard “go-to” is to deflect compliments with an excuse? "Well, we all get lucky sometimes,” or “Even a broken clock is right twice a day.”
You may not accept that people value your opinion and preemptively undercut your council and input with phrases such as, “But, what do I know,” and “But, don’t listen to me, I’m a nobody.”
Did you ever stop to consider the impact this off-handed “self-loathing” has on not only your witness but also on your mindset going forward? Earl Nightingale told us in “The Strangest Secret” that we are what we think about. If we are always negatively reinforcing every success that we have then eventually we'll stop having successes. We will become the undeserving and “dependent-on-luck" person we pretend we are.
Remember Who You Are
Luckily, there’s a better way to respond. Simply take account of exactly who you are.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
In Romans, Paul tells us that we are joint-heirs with Jesus. Think about the magnitude of that statement for just a few minutes. What have you ever done in your own capacity to earn the label “joint with Jesus” about anything? The answer is nothing. Naturally speaking, you've never done anything under your own power to make you worthy to be “joint with Jesus” in any aspect of your life.
However, the scriptures clearly tell us that through Jesus’ sacrifice and because of grace we share in Jesus' inheritance. The Bible calls us joint-heirs with the Savior.
When you realize that God considers you a joint-heir with His only begotten son, it’s easier to understand that the good fortune, the good luck, the strange way that things seem to work out for you as if by magic...are not “good-luck” after all. They are the result of God’s favor. People gravitate toward you and respect and seek your opinion because they are drawn to the truth and the power that flows through you. God’s power is the type of thing that gets noticed, even if only on a subconscious level.
You are not an Imposter or Humble
You might ask yourself, “Why in the world did I land this huge contract,” or “How did I wind up in this meeting with this group of people... I certainly don't belong here.” Possibly you’ve thought, “I don't have the knowledge or experience that any of these people have. Eventually, it's going to come out that I'm a fraud.”
This is called the imposter complex.
If we surrender to the imposter complex (if we reinforce to ourselves that we are not who we really are) then we'll never feel worthy to be anywhere or do anything that is rightfully a part of our royal inheritance.
On the other side of the coin, you may think, “Well, I just respond this way because it projects humility.”
I'm sure you imagine your words are endearing, respectfully self-aware, and the opposite of overconfident. But there is a limit to modesty. What begins as self-deprecating humor can very easily cross the line into denying Christ and your birthright.
Maybe You’re Not So Lucky After All
Let's take a review. In the beginning, God created everything there was from nothing. He created heaven, the earth, the lights, and the stars, and all the oceans, and the animals. When He had gotten everything exactly perfect, He decided it was good enough for humans. I believe He created this perfect environment for the sole purpose of unfettered companionship with you and me.
But that perfect place was corrupted by sin...
And because of this sin humans could no longer be in companionship with God as they once were...and this both angered and deeply saddened Him. To overcome this sin God established that a blood sacrifice would offer atonement and enable humans to once again be in companionship with Him. However, He didn’t just immediately send his son to die for our sins because people would not have had any idea why that was necessary or why that would work. “Why do I need somebody to die for my sins?”
So, for hundreds of years, a series of sacrifices was set up that would educate people and enable them to get closer to God. When they were close to God, great miracles were performed, cities crumbled, nations were established, kings were set up, and kings were toppled.
At the end of this system of sacrifices God said, “Now is the time to send the ULTIMATE sacrifice.” The Messiah was born to a virgin (full stop, what?) and lived a perfect life. In his life, he taught everything good that there was to teach, and when he was so perfect that the world could no longer accept him, they crucified him. Once he was confirmed dead by Roman soldiers (if there was one thing they knew, it was how to kill people) they put him in a tomb, sealed it tight with a huge stone, and guarded it day and night. But in three days he arose from the dead and left that tomb! Unbelievable, right?
However, he did not arise alone by himself! The graves were opened and a number of the previously dead walked into the city and were seen by many! Jesus walked with and taught his hundreds of followers for forty more days, and at the end of that 40 days (about 1 and a half months), Jesus flew in the air... ascended straight into heaven! It was such an amazing sight that his disciples stood around staring up into heaven and an angel had to come and say, “Why are you still staring up in the sky?”
As if that weren’t enough, after these events the apostles' lives were changed and they began to preach with a power and authority that converted thousands and thousands of people. Because of the nature of the Holy Spirit, Jesus was no longer confined to being in one location at a time (as a spirit He could be everywhere at once), so this power traveled out across all continents and nations and the story continued to be experienced through more kingships and kingdoms.
The miracle of God’s intervention in human lives has continued through thousands of years. So, considering all that history, when somebody says, “Look at the blessing you have received,” you've got to have some audacity to respond, “I got lucky, I guess.”
No, sister. You have been highly favored as part of a remarkable plan that has spanned millennia (indeed it has existed since the beginning of time) because you are a joint-heir with Jesus. It’s time for you to acknowledge that fact. Start living like it! Start speaking like it! Start letting others know who you are in Christ Jesus! Stop discounting HIS story and accept that you are worthy of all the blessings you are receiving because you are a joint-heir.