As I walk through life I notice that there are times I am quite content with my interior life. I get the feeling that I am doing the right things and then subtly I being to feel a little superior to those who have not experienced what I have and perhaps do not have the same degree of spirituality.
What I notice shortly after this is that I fall into some sort of sin. It happens almost like clockwork. It is ironic. My spiritual life then turns quickly into confession and I once again realize that I am a sinner and that I exist in a state of grace. It is only by grace that I have my being. Therefore pride is simply incompatible with the spiritual life. Competition and performance are a myth and a manifestation of my false self.
Grace is the only real truth in my life. It is by grace that Christ holds me in life and enfolds my life into his. It is by grace that my sins are forgiven. It is by grace that I receive any spiritual experiences. It is by grace that I am able to teach and be a companion for others in their spiritual life. All is gift, nothing is earned. Therefore praise, thanks and humility are the only response to grace. A life of praise and thanks should lead to service and use of the gift. That is why Paul tells us to live lives worthy of the Gospel.
Let us use our gifts fully, yet humbly since we are all sinners saved out of the mercy and compassion of a gracious God.