Shameless Humility

Luke 18:9-14 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Today I get the privilege to cheer on one of my best friends as she steps on stage to share God’s love with others. It has been such an honour to walk beside her in this part of our journey and watch God transform her and grow her gifts. She was created to speak and tell stories. One of the most valuable lessons God has taught me,  is to celebrate the worth in people. Their worth has nothing to do with me and their uniqueness and value are a  necessary part of making the world the way it is. God created them for a specific purpose and I am not supposed to be like them because I have a specific purpose too.

It is so imperative to receive our value from God. Yesterday my friend sent me Meghan Trainor’s video – Me Too, intended to make me laugh which it did and groove a little. It is catchy, we joked it would be our jam. One of the lines says “If I was you, I’d want to be me too.” What makes that funnier is neither of us would say that and really mean it. Ironically though, comparison is an area that I needed healing in and even up to a few months ago, this trap still kept me captive.

In my own insecurity I could be like a chameleon, changing colours to fit the various personalities around me. It was actually quite exhausting not knowing who I was enough to be confident in how God had created me. So many times I was paralyzed by not thinking I had any value, comparing to qualities I thought were ‘better than mine’. But as I heard Dr. Jim Richards say today,’ If God is not our source our value fluctuates based on the behaviour of other people we have identified with.  If our source is God, our value never changes because He doesn’t, nor does His evaluation of us change.’

Celebrating others and gratitude are two of the greatest gifts and counteractions we can put into motion to stomp out comparison or jealousy. I have found the most freedom here. You can’t curse and bless at the same time. It is practicing these tools that gives us strength to press in when those things may rise up. It will happen because we are human but we can bring these areas to God and allow Him to heal the brokenness. I love what Amanda Crabb said, “You can paint your walls but if there is no restoration, the mold and the cracks will seep through.”

Humility will keep us looking at Jesus. There is a reason God gave us this command,”You shall not covet your neighbour’s house. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.” Exodus 20:17

Lighten up, life is hard enough, celebrate someone, cheer them on, accentuate the great qualities in them, speak life right into the places they may be doubting. And when your flesh rises up and wants something it wasn’t meant to have, turn it into blessing. Do not let the devil win any longer. You are enough because God made you that way. I think this line was in the movie God’s Not Dead 2, “The only difference between you and someone you envy is you settle for less.”

As Dr. Richards so aptly said, “The more we accept Jesus’ interpretations of who God truly is and He becomes our Source, then we will begin to effortlessly transform into His likeness.”

Stay away from the donkeys!

Lord, help us to keep our eyes on you. Father help us to see the beautiful and unique ways you have made others to contribute to your world. Give us words to celebrate  and speak life to them. Lord thank you for amazing grace and your mercies which are new everyday. Help us to lay down our flesh that may rise up in jealousy or discontentment. Thank you Lord that you have made us unique and created a specific way to make a difference in this world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Confident Humility

‘Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.’ Philippians 1:6

How do I stay humble but yet be confident of the abilities God gave me? This question came from my son Owen during his basketball tryouts as I prayed over him one day encouraging him to be bold in his abilities. I loved his heart and to me the answer was in the question. His knowing that it is God who gave Him these abilities is humility hurdle number one. Hurdle number two was his desire to stay humble during this process.  Hurdle number three is the fact that he made the cut from 45 to 12 even if he isn’t the strongest player and it is only his second year playing and he isn’t boasting to everyone about it. Apparently I am though, perhaps I didn’t jump the hurdles without knocking one over.

I am a proud Mama, just like God our Father is proud of each of us. Joyce Meyer said, “He has never spoken anything negative about us.” My boasting also is in the Lord and the favour and opportunity that He gave Owen in this season. He did raise a good question though and I think the answer to achieve confident humility is to remember that our confidence is in God and not in ourselves. He absolutely gives us all gifts and abilities and strengths that others may not have but it does not make us better, just gives us better opportunities to give Him glory.

The other night I had the absolute privilege to speak blessings over the women in our lifegroup. I was honored that God would want to partner with me to speak of His life and love for each of these fearfully and wonderfully made women. Then I was completely humbled as they spoke blessing over me, sharing how God has allowed them to see me. Redeemed and full of Him. All of the things I desire to be, authentic, mentor, teacher, writer, pointing to Jesus. I say this not to boast but to say I would not be who I am at all if it were not for Him and His grace, mercy, healing and redemption. And this not for me but for others. We are healed in places to lead others to healing, we are comforted to comfort others, we have experiences to make us more like Him and show Him to this dark world.

I was convicted though to walk in the truth of the things I heard that night. To not downplay them with false humility but being confident that these are things He has worked out in me. Acting in true humility does not deny our own self-worth, it literally means the disposition to be humble, a lack of self-pride. It means to lower your own worth and be considerate of others, more of Jesus, less of you.

This theme ties in with my focus this season, on the incredible humility and confidence of our God to enter in to the mess of our world to bring redemption. He knew from the beginning that sending His Son as a helpless babe into a dirty stable was required to rescue us from ourselves. A free gift. All we need to do is open it. This takes confident humility, this choice of faith cannot be made from a prideful position. It is grace toward us through faith where we can be confident that He chose to come and die and be resurrected for our sin. I always marvel at Mary, the mother of Jesus in this season for the ultimate confident humility she displayed as an angel came to tell her, a young unmarried teenager girl, she was to be the mother of the Son of the Most High, conceived by the Holy Spirit. Luke 1:38 ,”I am the Lord’s servant.” Mary answered,” May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. Most of us can’t imagine responding that way, but she was confident in her God and not full of herself. For her it left no other choice but to obey even when she didn’t understand.

So what are your hurdles that are preventing you from choosing Jesus, particularly this season as we celebrate Him and His birth? Seek Him this Christmas and open your amazing gift of Love. You will not be disappointed. He is waiting for you.