Humbling

yesterday i got an email from a pastor in sydney, australia.   yeah.

he listens to my sermons online and is also currently preaching through the book of ephesians.   he wrote me and asked if i would share my notes with him from a few weeks ago  (“ridiculous”…if you remember).   of course.

the whole experience has left me more than a little humbled.   i know that the big dogs  (the ones who write and speak to masses and travel around the world) get these requests all the time.   i can’t imagine the pressure it must be for them to stay grounded and not get caught up in their own press.   as sad and tragic as it is,  i am never fully surprised when i hear of another great church leader whose life gets shipwrecked.

humility is slippery.   can a person who is genuinely humble recognize his own humility?  wouldn’t it be canceled out by acknowledging it?   i suppose it’s probably a chicken/egg issue.   just thinking…

as far as my experience with my new friend in australia,  it’s just cool knowing we’re on the same team.   we’ve committed to getting to know each other.

on a personal note,  to all of you who pray for me…challenge me with your words…walk close enough to me to see the cracks in my veneer…and express your love and loyalty anyway…thanks!   i would not-could not be here without you.

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5 thoughts on “Humbling

  1. I always got a laugh (after the fact) during youth ministry events centered around humility. At least two or three kids were good for an “I’m more humble than most people” comment.

  2. Humility is a very slippery slope. I try and temper it in my boys. Kyle has a swagger that is undeniable when he steps on to a baseball field. You can’t succeed in baseball or life without confidence. Confidence in yourself and your own abilities. The problem is its a real fine line between being confident and being cocky to the point of having a negative influence. God and life will surely humble you and when you fall off your own high horse and see just how much of a failure we all are its a pretty tough pill to swallow.

  3. Something I read from Scripture was a good reminder for me about the value of my own words compared to God’s Word. It’s from Jeremiah 23:28–31:
    “Let the prophet who has a dream tell his dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain?” declares the LORD. “Is not my word like fire,” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces? “Therefore,” declares the LORD, “I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me. Yes,” declares the LORD, “I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, ‘The LORD declares.’

    Kind of a drastic comparison. Our words are just a wagging of the tongue. God’s word is like fire and a hammer that destroys rocks!

  4. Great set of verses, Kevin.

    Mike, congratulations on that! =)

    I know what that feeling is like. I felt that recently when writings I contributed were side-by-side Dr. John Townsend’s work in the book “Setting Boundaries With Your Aging Parents” by Allison Bottke.

    I think God does not mind our rejoicing at the fruit of our work. Ecclesiastes 5:19 tells us that God does want us to rejoice in our labor and enjoy the rewards of the same.

    “Furthermore, as for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, He has also empowered him to eat from them and to receive his reward and rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God.”

    For me it has taken years to not want to sweep victories and accomplishments under the rug and pretend they didn’t matter to me. The messages of “Let another man praise you and you don’t say anything because that is wrongful pride” and “Time trashes your trophies so move onto the next worthy task” are embedded painfully in me. While these thoughts seem spiritual, I don’t think really reflect how God designed us.

    If we are designed in God’s image then wouldn’t we sincerely want acknowledgement and appreciation for our work? God does. Our praise is part of the benefits package of our relationship with God. It helps us too!

    I believe the balance is in realizing who gives us every opportunity, who shapes every outlier that we benefit from and who has our best interests at heart.

    As we redirect the praise to God, we continute the blessing-praise cycle. (Ps. 84:4)

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