Humility


In the American church, I think it is safe to say (or maybe not safe, but brutally honest) that we have some problems. I grew up in the church as was raised in a christian home. I was taught that in order to be a good person, I needed to be humble. I tried endlessly to be humble. I would never say anything good about myself, or as my beautiful mother would put it, “Don’t toot your own horn.” I would never accept compliments, I got so good at being “humble” I never even thought anything nice about myself. I went 21 years of my life thinking that in order for God to love me, I had to believe only the worst things about myself. I took, “humility” to a place God never intended it to go.

When I was a child, I was told that I had to work on my pride-problem. But I didn’t know what this meant. I didn’t think I was prideful but all of my spiritual leaders were telling me to “humble myself”. I was told I had a problem, but given no clear direction on how to fix it. Pointing out a person’s sin, without replacing it with God’s intended behavior/habit/way of living, is like giving a child a handgun and saying, “Good luck!” It’s dangerous and stupid.

I spent all of high-school really trying hard to be humble because I loved Jesus, I needed him and I knew that, “The LORD sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground.” (Psalm 147:6). I may not have read the whole bible but I knew enough to know, God doesn’t like it when his creations get “too big for their britches”.  The problem wasn’t my lack of desire to be humble, it wasn’t my lack of love or passion for Christ, the problem is that humility comes with wisdom, and I didn’t have wisdom (Proverbs 11:2).

I got to a point early on in my life where I was so “humble” I was depressed. Let me clarify something for you; Jesus was perfectly humble and he was never depressed!

Humility, my dear friend, is not denying there is anything good about you. Nor is pride believing you have amazing strengths and special qualities. True humility is the recognition that all of the amazing qualities you have (because trust me there are many) are not because you did anything to have them, but simply because God is gracious and loves you perfectly. God takes delight in the work of his hands.

When God created you, he didn’t think, “Hmmm… I don’t want this one to have any pride so I’m going to make them totally useless at life so that at least I can love them because they will be humble…” (I realize this sounds silly, but when you are depressed and can’t take a genuine compliment, this is basically where your thought process is. I know because this is what I used to think, without even knowing it.)

When God created you he was excited! He created you to be made in his image and likeness, that is pretty spectacular already! Then to really outdo Himself, God put together so many unique characteristics inside you and he made every part of you with love. If the God of all creation, the one who made all the things you love in this world,  put so much focus into making you a work of his art, then don’t you think he relishes with delight when his other creations notice how great you are?

One of God's amazing works of art

When someone gives you a compliment, false humility says, “No, I am not that way, am nothing.” True humility on the other hand says in excitement, “I know right! God is so cool to make me this way.” — Ok, maybe that’s just how I answer compliments…  Feel free to put it into your own words. The point is true humility is not obtained when you believe only the worst things about yourself. True humility is when you accept that all of the great things about yourself have nothing to do with you, and everything to do with the One who created those great things about you.

So now the question is, “How do I become truly humble?”

Stay tuned for next week’s answer to that question… In the mean time, go and read through the Psalms, David wrote most of them and he was called, “A man after God’s own heart.” i.e. he was humble.

Also think about this, God want’s us to be humble, not because he is the only one who can be proud, but because he himself is the ultimate example of humility.

To be continued…

Proverbs 15:31;33
He who listens to a life-giving rebuke will be at home among the wise.The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor.

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Jesus


A darkened world from pain and hate
a life on loneliness accepted as fate
walls built around a heart so broken
isolation growing thicker from pain unspoken.
A world austere and bleak at best
in desperate need of love to rest,
inside the heart guarded by walls
but what arrow could pierce and make them fall?

A word of truth, sharper than swords,
could only be spoken by the Lord of lords;
to pierce the heart and break the pain,
all the fire of love contained in his name.
Shame and Guilt are two false friends,
their path leads only to ruinous ends.
They bind the hands and trip the feet,
and very soon, their friend, Destruction you’ll meet.

Be wary of those who put to shame
all the power and love contained in his name.
The Judge in the street calling out “condemned”
receives himself, the bitter curse in the end.
If we in ourselves could undo what we’ve done
we would never have needed the sacrificed Son.
It isn’t enough to have rituals and rites,
instead we need Jesus, the life of all Light.

lay me down


I wrote this song today and thought I would share.

 

I lay me down

For the glory of the crown

I lift my hands

In a surrendered dance

 

I bow my head

to the one who is my bread

I give my life

to the one who took my price

 

You are my king

Hallelujah, everything

Hallelujah, everywhere- in every part of me

 

You lay me down

For the glory of your crown

You lift my hands

In a sweet surrendered dance

 

You bow my head

For you, Lord are my bread

You give me life

For your death has paid my price

 

You are my king

Hallelujah, everything

Hallelujah, everywhere- in every part of me

 

 

Christmas Boat Parade


Today I went to Joe’s Crab Shack with a group of my friends. We went there to watch the Newport Beach Boat Parade. I can’t help but think as all the pretty boats go by that such a display of wealth is a cold harsh statement of “Screw the starving people of this world!” The lights look like magic with the soft twinkles reflecting off the dancing water, I feel privileged to even see them, yet the people who own these expensive boats with elaborate displays of magic, these people must have spent a small fortune on this one event. I wonder, what would happen if we forewent the magical lights this Christmas and the large electric bills and instead took the money we saved from just the lights alone and spent it on the starving, sick, and dying children, women and men around the world?
If instead of paying an extra $20 a month on my one string of lights I would instead support a family of four in Africa for the month. And what if these rich boat owners took the hundreds of dollars and maybe even thousands of dollars they spent for the show and instead gave it to the needy? I long for the day when we can live in a world that has enough sense to stop wasting resources and instead use them to take care of the practical needs of those around us. I hate what Christmas has become. It is never about Christ, it is instead about the lights, the trees and the abundance of presents. It is about shows of wealth, deforestations and the waste of money on useless items that we don’t need anyways. Yes, I am a Grinch when it comes to Christmas because the American Christmas isn’t really about the spirit of giving. If it were, we would take our abundance and give to those in need. we would support the people who have nothing. we would give of our time, our love and our energy to help people who are desperate.  The American Christmas has become a sham. It is pretty bows and wrapping paper hiding the ugly monster of greed.
This Christmas, do something worthwhile. Buy all your gifts from Charities, don’t put up your Christmas lights and get a teeny tiny tree. Baby steps to becoming a truly great nation that celebrates a truly wonderful holiday.

Melody ~A poem suitable for singing


If you have been a Christian for some time, then maybe you can relate to this “song” I wrote the lyrics but it has yet to be given a tune. I realize that it is completely unflattering and I honestly admit that I am a total failure at being a perfect Christian, whatever that means. I am a wretched sinner, and daily I am reminded of how short I fall of God’s glory.

Melody’s Song:

Let me not be led astray

When I find my heart filled with pain

And let me not be filled with fear

When I search and I can’t find you near

~

And the questions in my mind

Make me feel like I’m a lie

Cause I don’t know just who you are

Yet I say I have you in my heart

~

And let me not be so afraid

That I can’t even bow my head to pray

Lord let me not, be so concerned

With how others say I am to live

~

And all the questions in my mind

Make me feel like I am a lie

Cause I don’t know just who you are

Yet I say I have you in my heart

~

I was raised, to praise your name

Yet I find I say it in vain

My heart is broken, black and blue

Filled with all the sins I can’t undo

~

Am I too much God? Or not enough?

And will you ever with-hold your love?

because I fall short of your glory

And I’m afraid to find you’re just a story

~

And all the questions in my mind

Make me feel like I’m just a lie

Cause I don’t know who you are

Yet I say I have you in my heart

~

But today I rise, dust off the ashes

And choose to live a life to give you praise

I have sinned and let it stop me

But I won’t let it hold me back from you

~

Today I rise, and cast off my sins

Because you took them when you took my place

I will run, and I will follow

Because I know that you are my grace

~

And all the questions in my mind

Won’t make me feel like I’m a lie

Because I know just who you are

You’re the one who’s loved me from the start.