Thursday, May 1, 2014

May: a month of 3 things ... Humility

In May, I plan to write 3 things "1 - 2 - 3 -" about whatever is going on. This first one is really hard to talk about.

I've heard and read a lot about humility lately. It's a quality most Christians believe in and aspire to, but how few of us reflect it? I stink at it (bit blunt that) so I kept my eyes and ears open to recognize it at a conference of ministers this week. Some observations:

1. Humility is thinking rightly of oneself, in relation to God and others. It doesn't mean deprecation of self, as in "Oh, I'm nothing. I'm unworthy of being noticed." That dishonors God who valued a relationship with us so much that he died for us. Humility also doesn't fight for attention, as in "I'm more humble than you are."

2. Humility is a secret grace that everyone notices. The least proud people I met this week were very accomplished, yet they didn't flaunt their skills or relationships. Instead, they quietly shone through the crowds of people, looking secure in God's pleasure and comfortable in their own skins. Their genuine comfort elevated others.

3. Humility, meekness, and love are triplets. Meekness means not demanding one's rights. And love means living for the best interests of others. If God gave report cards, I suspect mine would be marked D this week for the triplets. I was probably the least humble, meek, and loving of those at the conference. Why? Again and again, my mind returned to self-awareness and my agenda (whom I wanted to see and what I wanted to do). "After all," I justified when my heart condemned me, "we're leaving in 9 weeks."

God's presence was warm and welcoming around us. He astonished us as we worshipped. He inspired us through Scripture and preaching. He invited us to join in Kingdom work as we prayed.

In spite of His goodness, my focus was often internal. I grieved leaving these friends, this kind and caring circle of pastors, and this relaxation among peers. Though I wanted to be completely mindful of God and the needs of others, my own stuff kept cropping up in my head. How great would it have been, to be aware only of Jesus and his accomplishments! Can you relate?

God worked through many people this week. We were blessed, grateful, and awed by the Word and words spoken.

I came home thinking, "Oh Lord, what joy to be in your Presence! What a difficult task You have undertaken to remake us in your image." And, "How grateful I am that You never give up on us."

THANK YOU to our dear friends and role models who demonstrated that centering self in Christ is the way to be fully human and actualize humility. And I'm chuckling to think that the most humble reflections of the lovely light of the Cross would never suspect that I'm talking about YOU.

Read more:
*He has made his wonders to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and compassionate. Psalm 111:4 NASB

*I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. Psalm 145:1-3 NIV

*This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me. 1 Corinthians 11:25 ESV

Moravian Prayer: God of all the wonders of earth, instill within us the strength we need to run the race set before us. May we feel your presence, Lord, in both times of trial and times of triumph. Amen.

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