Humility

Man praying with the BibleThis is not always considered a beautiful word. Humility is defined as “a modest or low view of ones own importance”.  Humility is good word if it’s self-imposed. If someone else humbles us, it tends to sting a bit. Paul issues a challenge to the church in Philippi to be humble like Jesus. Check this out…

1Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:1-4 NIV)

 

Not only should I impose humility on myself, I should look to serve others with a spirit of love and compassion. I should seek to honor others above myself. Humility is most of the time a battle with my flesh. Our culture screams out that we should promote ourselves and “toot our own horn” when possible. Paul is asking us to be like Jesus and serve humbly.  Jesus was an example of humility as He walked the earth. He challenged us to walk in humility. Check out these words from the Lord…

12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. (Matthew 23:12 NIV)

 

I want to keep my attitude in check today and every day. I don’t want to act arrogant or prideful, but in humility look to serve others. I would much rather humble myself than have it done for me. 

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Serve

Helping OthersWhen I was young man, I watched my Grandmother serve others. She had such a big heart and wanted to help others. Her serving started with her family. She was always serving with food. She made things with her hands to give away. I remember such a generous heart and strong, steady faith. She had God’s Word implanted in her heart and was always speaking truth into my life and the lives of her children and grand children.  My Mammie showed me a lot about serving. Her serving made it’s way into her daughter’s life (My Mom) and also into me.  Paul speaks to the church at Galatia about the principle of the harvest. Check this out…

7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Galatians 6:7-10 NIV)

 

I love serving others. I spent 20 years in full-time student ministry and I loved helping people.  Serving has most definitely continued in my life as my career in Real Estate has evolved. I’ve learned that in marketing real estate and helping buyers – I’m really a servant to my clients and customers.  I’m not going to pretend that it’s not difficult at times, because there are some difficult people in the world. I’ve found though that if I will seek to use my professional skill and knowledge to serve others, it blesses them but also blesses me.

I don’t want to give up serving.  I want to keep sowing service into the clients and customers that I work with including other REALTOR professionals, contractors, fast food employees, doctors, lawyers, people who are down…. anyone. I want to good to all people and sow seeds of kindness into others. Who knows, there might be a harvest of kindness and service very soon!

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Boasting & Bragging

Man with arrogant expressionI’ve never been a fan of someone who brags a lot. I’ve been around people who thought that they were “all that”.  It doesn’t take long to figure out that most of the time they are pretty prideful and puffed up. It’s hard to work with someone who thinks more highly of himself than he ought. I remember a friend of mine had some commentary about a person like that. My friend said, “If you could buy that person for what he/she’s worth and sell them for what they THINK they are worth, you could retire today!” Another quip that is a favorite: “He’s a legend in his own mind!” Bragging and boasting are not good attributes.  Paul calls it out in the church at Corinth.  Check this out….

12 We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. 13 We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us, a sphere that also includes you. 14 We are not going too far in our boasting, as would be the case if we had not come to you, for we did get as far as you with the gospel of Christ. 15 Neither do we go beyond our limits by boasting of work done by others. Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our sphere of activity among you will greatly expand, 16 so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. For we do not want to boast about work already done in someone else’s territory. 17 But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” 18 For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends. (2 Corinthians 10:12-18 NIV)

 

I think the part that jumped out to me today, is “commending us”. If I had to brag or boast about me all the time, then I’m going to really discourage relationships. No one wants to be a friend to a bragger.  As a REALTOR, I often have to differentiate myself from other REALTORS. If I have to put them down to make myself look good, I think I’ve failed. I should speak to what I can do and what I will do and let the rest take care of itself. I deeply appreciate recommendations and referrals from others. That means they are bragging on my work and my professional skills.  That kind of commendation is almost always more beneficial and real.

I’ve heard it said, “it’s not bragging if you can back it up with action”.  That sounds a whole lot like “smack talk” to me.  I don’t want to walk a thin line regarding boasting and bragging. I want to keep serving and working for the benefit of others and let my work speak for itself.

I want to brag about the Lord and what He is doing in my life. He has changed my perspective on everything. He is worth speaking about. He has saved me from myself and walked me through some deep valleys. I don’t ever want to forget what the Lord has done for me.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Step Up

Action Word on Red Round Button Be ProactiveThere are times to follow along quietly and let others lead the way. There are other times when I’m the person to lead out in a particular situation. The wisdom comes in knowing when to lead and when to follow.

Jesus had followers that He turned into leaders. He poured into their lives with His life and teaching. His disciples eventually became strong leaders because of their experience with Him. There were two specific followers who really stepped up after Jesus was crucified and they wanted to give Him a proper burial. Check this out…

38 Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. 39 He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. 40 Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41 At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there. (John 19:38-42 NIV)

I’m not sure if these two men had anything in common other than they believed in Jesus and respected Him. They didn’t make waves in their respective positions. Upon Jesus death, they stepped up to do the honorable thing. They were not ashamed of their love and respect for Jesus.  I can’t help but believe that God honored these two men for stepping up and serving when others were so stunned that they didn’t know what to do or simply didn’t have the resources to do anything.

There are times when I’m the person who should step up and take action and there are other times when I should leave that to someone else. I’m still trying to develop a heart of discernment to let the Lord lead men to know when it’s my moment to step up and serve or lead out.

Pressing On!
Dwayne