Drawing closer to the face of God is the most important work of a Christian’s life. You absolutely cannot progress toward a deeper relationship with God without Christ and you absolutely cannot progress toward Christ without humility. I used to (dang, still do!) confuse humility with humiliation. Humans often fight being humble with three things and it is these three things that keep us from God. You have to be willing to let go of old attitudes which block humility, three of which are:
LOW SELF ESTEEM- You need to retrain your brain to cut out any negative self-talk. In John 8:44 the Word tells us the devil is the father of lies. God wants you to focus on things that are worthy of praise, not things that are worthy of complaining. Another way to combat negative self-talk and thought is to give yourself daily amounts of self-care. This could mean a walk in the woods, a bike ride with the kids or simply soaking your feet in sudsy hot water. The intention of self-care is to rest in order to hear the word of God.
STATUS-SEEKING- This last weekend, EVERGREEN’S Children’s Pastor, Sara Estenson shared a sermon titled PARENTING FROM THE HEART You become a good parent when you shift the focus off what others do and think and onto what God would have you do in your circumstances.
Then He said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all-He is the greatest.” -Luke 9:48
Jesus is settling an argument among the disciples as to which one of them would be the greatest. Compare and despair is a phrase common in the rooms of A.A. and is meant to stifle the need to seek approval and status through things not of God. Pastor Sara candidly shared that YOU are a child of God and in order to stay close to the father, you need to TRUST, ABIDE AND SEEK HOLINESS. To seek holiness is not striving to be better than your neighbor, it means to seek God’s wisdom for your life so you can be useful to your neighbor.
SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS- The tendency to justify your actions, excuse your bad behavior is human nature. It is also human nature to, at the core of your soul, understand the wrongness of selfishness. This is why shame, guilt and humiliation comes to define humility to many. Forgiving yourself needs to be at the top of any list of inventory in order to make solid, lasting change. If you cannot forgive yourself, you will not recover from self or develop the deep relationship with God that He, and the core of you, desires. Admit it.
By attending any church who speaks the Gospel, shares Jesus, and studies the Word of God, you can learn to improve on these principles. If you actively practice living your faith, you learn how to balance out positive self-worth while remaining humble.
“My Father Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, GOOD and BAD. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength as I go out to do your bidding. In Jesus Name, Amen.” -Alcoholics Anonymous, pg 76.
ARE YOU WILLING FOR GOD TO HAVE ALL OF YOU?