I went to a worship service last evening as part of the conference I am presently attending. When it came time for the sermon the pastor began to speak. He called me a low-life. He used images of derelicts on the street saying that’s who I am. Harsh words, but I had to agree with him. That really is who I am. In my own nature I am a foul sinful being before a Holy God. In my own nature, I can take credit for nothing. I have nothing to hold up that can be called worthy. That is all true, but it was not the end of the pastor’s message. He also said that God saw me in my pitiful, broken state, reaching out to me with His saving, healing grace. Unworthy as I am, God did for me what could never do for myself. He covered all my filth with the white robe of Christ’s righteousness. What a joy for this bagger to receive the greatest treasure of all, life in the presence of our Holy God. But whatever happened to good self esteem? Whatever happened to the power of positive thinking? It is a poor substitute for the treasure I have in my Lord Jesus Christ. It is only as I see myself as I truly am, a dirty bagger in need, that I also have the overwhelming joy of the gift of God’s grace in Christ Jesus.