Humble Pie

pieI heard a guy say a couple of years back that “Humble pie is the pastry that’s never tasty!” It was said in a humorous situation, but there is something to it. Humility is a powerful trait for me to acquire. I think it’s a wise decision to taste the humble pie on my own instead of waiting until it’s forced upon me by outside circumstances or things beyond my ability to control.

I have a sign in my office that says: “It’s hard to be humble when you’re from Kentucky!” (Of course, it’s because I’m a UK basketball fan.)

James speaks of how God loves the humble. Check this out…

But he gives greater grace. Therefore he says:

God resists the proud,
but gives grace to the humble.

Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. (James 4:6-8,10 CSB)

If I think too highly of myself – I will be humbled.

If I think I deserve something – I will be humbled.

If I think I’m God’s gift to the earth – I will be humbled.

It is much wiser to approach every situation I face with humility and kindness toward others. I see this as a strength not a weakness. I know who I am and I know Whose I am. I believe by taking the bite of “humble pie” first, I can learn how to lead, influence and inspire others. I’m really turned off by arrogance, but humility really inspires and motivates me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

The Thought Counts

 

Thoughtful little girlI remember joking with someone once and told him or her that I “thought” about him or her and it’s the thought that counts! I was definitely being a bit sarcastic. I do think it’s important to be thoughtful and kind. I also think that I need to put action behind my thoughts in order to bless and care for others.

Solomon was offering a prayer of dedication at the Temple of God that he and his team had built. I love his synopsis about what happened when David wanted to build the temple. Check this out….

7 “My father David had it in his heart to build a temple for the Name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 8 But the Lord said to my father David, ‘You did well to have it in your heart to build a temple for my Name. 9 Nevertheless, you are not the one to build the temple, but your son, your own flesh and blood—he is the one who will build the temple for my Name.’

Forgive, and deal with everyone according to all they do, since you know their hearts (for you alone know the human heart), 31 so that they will fear you and walk in obedience to you all the time they live in the land you gave our ancestors. (2 Chronicles 6:7-9; 30b-31 NIV)

When I talk to the Lord, I’m talking to the ONLY ONE Who knows my heart. He knows the purity and the depth of my thoughts. He knows if there is pride and arrogance in my heart. He knows if there is compassion and humility in my heart. He knows the deepest motives of my heart. That has scared me at times – only because I know my heart too.

I believe the only way to keep my heart pure and clean is to surrender my heart to the One Who made my heart. He wired me to love. He wired me to have a heart of love and compassion. I think the environment I live it pulls me to be more self-focused and self-centered. I believe that pride is a major sin inside my heart. I actually think that most every other sin can be traced to the pride in my heart.

The Lord desires to work in my heart and transform my heart. If my heart is clean and pure then it will come out in my behavior. I can correct my behavior for a short while and maybe fake a few people out. I can never fool or fake out the Lord. I believe that working on my heart is working on the infrastructure of all that I am. Everything I am and want to become comes from deep in my heart. My hopes, my dreams, my ideas, my love, my compassion…- all come from my heart. If I “thought” about it, it’s because it’s in my heart. I believe that my thoughts of my heart need to be lived out in my daily activities for sure.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Deep Humility

 

work hard stay humbleI remember my grandmother (aka “Mammie”) speak about people being humble. She pronounced the word without the “h” on the front – “umble”. One big characteristic of her life was that she was very humble. I can’t ever recall her being prideful and arrogant. She noticed others who were humble and kind. She always put others ahead of herself. She was incredibly generous and patient. She made a profound impression upon my life and the lives of many others.

I read more this morning about King David. He was also a humble man serving as King. He never seemed to forget his humble beginnings as a shepherd boy. He also never seemed to forget the God Who was with him way back then when he faced a lion and a bear that was threatening his flock.

David decides that he wants to build a house for God. He doesn’t like it that the Ark of the Covenant is in a tent. He wants to build a permanent temple for God to dwell. The Lord sends Nathan, the prophet to bless David but to also let him know that his son who succeeds him as king will be the one to build the temple. I was impressed with David’s humility after being told “no”. David ended up feeling blessed about what God was going to do through his family. He humbly accepts the directive of God through the prophet. Check this out…

25 “You, my God, have revealed to your servant that you will build a house for him. So your servant has found courage to pray to you. 26 You, Lord, are God! You have promised these good things to your servant. 27 Now you have been pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever in your sight; for you, Lord, have blessed it, and it will be blessed forever.” (1 Chronicles 17:25-27 NIV)

David’s humility is what made him such a great leader. He let God lead him. He trusted God to help him lead as King. I believe that humility is one of the greatest characteristics a leader can have. I believe humility can coexist with confidence but not arrogance. Confidence says, “We can do this”. Arrogance says, “I can do this”. David knew that with the Lord’s help that there was nothing that couldn’t be done.

I believe that battling pride is a daily struggle. My pride can chase humility out of my life. Pride is confidence in me alone. Pride is destructive while trying to lead. Pride has been the downfall of many great leaders. In fact, I believe that pride is the culprit in David’s sin scandal with Bathsheba.

As I journey through the word of God, I don’t want my confidence in Him to produce arrogance in me. He is the leader and I’m the follower. I may lead others, but I’m a follower of Jesus first.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Rebellion & Arrogance

Man with arrogant expressionThese two words often accompany one another. These are two words that I don’t want to ever be compared to in the Presence of God. In following the Lord it is not a diplomatic pursuit. The Lord wants to be number 1 in every area of my life. He doesn’t want to be second. I’ve heard it said, “The Lord must be Lord OF all or He’s not Lord AT all.”

King Saul was given some very specific instructions from the Lord about total destruction of the Amalekite nation. The Lord wanted them and everything connected with them wiped off the face of the earth. King Saul decided to do things his own way and he saved the best cattle and sheep as well as King Agag. Samuel confronts Saul and tells him that the Lord has rejected him as king because of his willful disobedience. Check this out…

22 But Samuel replied:

‘Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices

    as much as in obeying the Lord?

To obey is better than sacrifice,

    and to heed is better than the fat of rams.

23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,

    and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.

Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,

    he has rejected you as king.’ (1 Samuel 15:22-23 NIV)

These words of Samuel have echoed in my head for years. I sometimes want to negotiate with the Lord when He’s called me to do something or become something. I’m reminded that He is Lord of All and my role in this relationship is one of submission and obedience.

In this passage Samuel compares disobedience to divination and idolatry. These are two significant areas that will lead me away from the heart of God consistently. I needed to be reminded that while I don’t worship little carvings made of wood or precious metal, I can be found worshipping my family, my job, my popularity and my own self to name just a few. The Lord doesn’t want my money, my volunteering or my talent without first having my heart of obedience.

My obedience to the Lord is paramount over everything else and everyone one else. For a follower of God, it is not and option or choice – it is a command. As I walk through the Word of God, I can hear the prompting of God to speak and to act. As I listen to His heart, He speaks into my heart. My pursuit of God’s heart is absolutely dependent upon my obedience.  If my heart is His, I can display confidence in Him but not in me.

If the Lord has my heart, He has my trust.

If the Lord has my heart, He has my obedience.

If the Lord has my heart, He has my money.

If the Lord has my heart, He has my family.

If the Lord has my heart, He has my job.

If the Lord has my heart, He has all of me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Arrogant vs. Humble

Man with arrogant expressionI have never been a fan of arrogant people. I’m working from a definition of someone who has an exaggerated sense of his or her own importance or abilities. Humble is the exact opposite of arrogant. Humble is having a modest of low estimate of one’s own importance.

A humble person has a certain attraction, while an arrogant person is a bit repulsive.

A humble person is approachable while an arrogant person is beyond approach.

I believe that as a Christ follower, I should fight with intensity the temptation to think more highly of myself than I ought. I’m who I am because of The Lord NOT because I’m something special on my own.

I came across the account of “Korah’s Rebellion” as I remembered it. Korah, a Levite rises up against Moses and Aaron. They bring 250 other men, some who were leaders, with them. It gets really ugly. Check this out…

3 They came as a group to oppose Moses and Aaron and said to them, ‘You have gone too far! The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is with them. Why then do you set yourselves above the Lord’s assembly?’

4 When Moses heard this, he fell face down. 5 Then he said to Korah and all his followers: ‘In the morning the Lord will show who belongs to him and who is holy, and he will make that person come near him. The man he chooses he will cause to come near him. 6 You, Korah, and all your followers are to do this: take censers 7 and tomorrow put burning coals and incense in them before the Lord. The man the Lord chooses will be the one who is holy. You Levites have gone too far!’ (Numbers 16:3-7 NIV)

Elderly man prayingMoses actually seems to remain consistent with who he is during this whole uprising. He trusts the Lord because the Lord had called him to do what he’s doing. I wonder if Moses remembered back to the desert of Midian when God first called him to lead Israel out of Egypt. Moses leadership style was one of humility. He realized that God was actually in charge and He was serving at the call of God, not for his own regard.

The Lord did show up and made it abundantly clear that He would not tolerate the arrogance and rebellion of the people against His chosen leader. In fact Moses and Aaron had to petition the Lord to forgive the people. Aaron even made atonement for them to save them from God’s wrath.

I believe that God hates arrogance, but absolutely adores humility. He can work with a humble person, but an arrogant person “knows it all” already. There have been times in my life where I’ve misbehaved and acted arrogantly and God humbled me. He can’t use me when I’m full of myself. He can use me only when I’m filled with His Spirit and His heart and there is never room for arrogance and His Spirit to dwell in the same person. Check this out…

In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility towards one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’ (1 Peter 5:5 NIV)

I’m reminded this morning that the Lord is attracted to a humble spirit in me. He is repulsed by arrogance. I want to daily (hourly, or minute by minute) humble myself before Him so that He can use me where ever He needs me.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

A Hard Fall

Man withstands moving downI’ve heard before that “the bigger they are the harder they fall”. I’m not sure who coined this little phrase. It simply means the more power or success a person has, the harder it is for them to accept losing it. I believe that with much power comes much responsibility. Leaders who are in the limelight and really large in personality, fame and fortune seem to have a really hard time when they fail at anything. I personally believe that we all have to deal with failure at some level.

Ezekiel was telling Egypt and Pharaoh that they were about to have a hard fall. Check this out…

10 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because the great cedar towered over the thick foliage, and because it was proud of its height, 11 I gave it into the hands of the ruler of the nations, for him to deal with according to its wickedness. I cast it aside, 12 and the most ruthless of foreign nations cut it down and left it. Its boughs fell on the mountains and in all the valleys; its branches lay broken in all the ravines of the land. All the nations of the earth came out from under its shade and left it. (Ezekiel 31:10-12 NIV)

 

I find throughout scripture that humility is a character trait that the Lord really loves. If I remain humble, then He gets the well-deserved credit for all He does. He also gets the credit for all the good that I’m a part of. He is the Lord over all. If any one person thinks I’m something or somebody, I should be quick to point out that I’m nothing without Him.

Please understand that a fall hurts when it happens. But a BIG fall hurts more than a little fall. I want to keep my heart and head in check so that I don’t become proud and haughty. All I have and all I know come from Him. He directs the choices I make that make me look so smart. I can’t live my life without Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne