I hate reviewing my work. This includes listening to sermons I have preached and re-reading papers I have written. Why? Because it is a humbling experience. For me it is embarrassing to know that I submitted sub par work. But ignoring it…well…that helps to keep one’s ego intact.
Well, my ego is gone. I have been reading through a number of journal articles lately in order to beef up the bibliographic section of my paper entitled “The Baptism of Jesus and the Fulfillment of all Righteousness: An exploration of Jesus’ typological relationship to Israel in Matthew 3:13-17.” It is my hope to submit this paper to the regional meeting of ETS. I thought that the extent of my work would be in strengthening my arguments through citation and revising the piece for its new context.
I pulled the paper out in order to find what sections needed minor tweaking and where sources needed to be added. I discovered that there were typos, instances where I fell into passive voice, several paragraphs in need of a complete overhaul, unsupported statements, ill supported conclusions and sources that should have never been cited in the first place. The most humbling part of this experience is the fact that I have and still do esteem this as one of my best papers in terms of originality, research and argumentation.
I am finding that the moment I think I have “arrived” is the moment pride takes over, growth stops, laziness sets in, and my work suffers. Lord, help me to always rely on you and to recognize that what little talent I have has been given by you, is honed by you, and should be used for your glory.