"you were little in your own eyes"
1 Samuel 15:17
Today's verse was spoken to King Saul, by Samuel the prophet, almost as a challenge. Back when Saul had first been informed that he had been choses to be the king of Israel, he had protested. "Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of the families of the tribe of Benjamin?" And then, when the time came to present Saul to the Israelites as their king, he hid. Despite his impressive stature, and his lofty calling, he was indeed "little in his own eyes."
Over time however, his role; his title; or the privileges of being king had gone to his head. He no longer saw himself as little. He had even offered a sacrifice unlawfully; without waiting for Samuel's guidance. It seemed that Saul believed that his role as ruler also entitled him to take Samuel's role as priest, too.
When Samuel spoke these words to Saul, it was because Saul had again disobeyed God's command, and this time, Samuel confronted him with a very true assessment: "You are no longer little in your own eyes."
Back when Saul had been little in his own eyes, God had seen him as a king. For indeed, while God knows our every flaw, He also sees what we can become. Jesus told us to be "perfect, even as [our] Father in heaven is perfect," and when Jesus is our Lord and Savior, God sees us through the filter of His holy Son, who died to erase our sins, and wash us as white as snow.
It's tough, sometimes, to see ourselves as little. We see what we have accomplished, instead of seeing that it was Him who gave us the strength to accomplish it. Do we look upon our spiritual growth with pride, and fail to see how far we have to go? Do we strive to remove the speck from another's eye, while ignoring the plank in our own? Or maybe we take our eyes off of Him entirely, filled with the "importance" of all we have to do "for" Him.
As I grow in Him, He is able to use me more, but the more He can use me, the stronger I feel, and the stronger I feel, the less humble I feel. But humility is what I strive for; that is the the highest goal I can attain, for He promises that if I humble myself in His sight, then He will lift me up.
~ "These are the ones I look on with favor:
those who are humble and contrite in spirit,
and who tremble at My word." ~