To walk in humility. To consider other’s as better than ourselves. To have a servant attitude like Christ. To hold our tongue when we could so let others know we are all that and more! To lay down the pride was this week’s overall challenge. And boy did I have opportunities this week to practice “Do not boast” love attribute of 1 Corinthians 13.
Boasting versus Humility Moment #1-New friend-
Of course the sermon passage this week was Luke 14:11 which says, “he who exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Fitting. Very fitting. It was obvious the boasting challenge was on. Throughout the week I found myself operating with a new device/gadget called “The Boasting Checker”. Meaning, my brain was continually evaluating, “to boast or not to boast, that is the question”. I met someone new at Bible study and as we talked I was cautious. I asked her a lot of questions. (This was a safe zone for not boasting about me.) But then she asked what I did for work-I stated I was the worship pastor at our church. And then kept going with, “I am also considered lead pastor at our church since we are in a team model and all 5 pastors serve as the senior pastor.” Immediately I had a check in my spirit. Went too far with that follow up comment. Wasn’t necessary and wasn’t living out humility. I guess my “Boasting Checker” didn’t catch this one. On the way home from bible study I took a deep breath in. Then out. Then asked for the Lord to forgive me of my boasting and prideful spirit. (And I asked Him to fix my “Boasting Checker” gadget to have better luck next time.)
Boasting versus Humility Moment #2-Old friend-
It was Kindergarten round up day and this being the second time we have done this, I was strangely at ease. Even though we have been unsure about which school to send our girls to in the past, today was not that day. My husband and I were rock solid with this decision. Rock solid with peace. Rock solid in the vast wisdom we could extend to any needing soul. A got the opportunity to talk with 2 old friends in regards to the half day versus full day/public versus private versus homeschool versus bilingual program options. I asked God to give me wisdom for each of my friends and show His love to them in this place the challenging place they were in. And He did. But somewhere along the boasting continuum, my “rock solid” state I was in turned into a prideful spirit. My rock solidness looked somewhat like, “I know the best choice, I know it all, I have things really put together” in my mind, heart and am sure overflowed out of my mouth. (It’s hard to get away from the scripture, “Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45) It’s a bummer to recognize even in doing good work for the Kingdom, my pride still comes into play. And I HAVE to remember that any GOOD done for someone is not because of ME. Alone, I can do NOTHING. It is ALWAYS the Spirit at work in me which produces spiritual fruit. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
Boasting versus Humility Moment #3-God talk-
As I ran with the Lord I asked Him what was at the root of my struggle to boast. Boast. Boast. And boast some more. Am I so lacking. Deficient. Insecure that I must compensate by talking myself up? I believe He responded to my question by directing my thoughts to the NOT portions of the love chapter in 1 Corinthians 13. He whispered to my soul that all the “DO NOT’s” in the chapter stem from a deeper lie that we carry. And ironically, it is an “I AM NOT/I HAVE NOT” deep lie, that moves us to participate in the surface issue of boasting, or envy or other DO NOT statements of the love chapter. We take control of the building ourselves up instead of trusting THE BUILDER (maker of us) to do this work. For example, when I believe the lie that I am NOT enough-I take control. I don’t trust God. And I boast to others that I AM enough. Or when I believe the lie that I must have more clothes, toys for my kids, newer cars, or a better tv or house to be happy/successful in our culture, saying I do NOT have enough-I take control. I don’t trust God (to provide/give abundant life). And I compare what I have to what others have and I get jealous/have envy when they have more (success, material things) than I do. When we start to have the “I AM/HAVE NOT” untrue statements going through our minds, we must go to God to “renew our mind with I AM” true statements from His Word-we go to the Great I Am for our “I AM” statements. Here are some I hold to today:
I am a child of the King. I am created perfectly by the Potter. I am intended to bring Him glory. I am valued highly. I am destined for a great purpose. I am weak, but in Him I am strong. I am dead to sin but alive in Jesus. I am forgiven. I am free.
Am I now trying to win the approval of men or of God or am I trying to please men? If I were trying to please men I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Galatians 6:14a
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or a cheap desire to boast. But be humble towards one another, always considering others as better than yourselves. Phil 2:3-4
© 2012 Standing on Peace