Tag Archives: humility

What more could be said?

12 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Serve God with Spiritual Gifts

For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Behave Like a Christian

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”

21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Well said. Help us to do this, Lord.

A lesson on haughtiness

Pr. 18:12:  “Before the destruction of the heart of a man is haughty, and before honor is humility.”

I learned the physical application of this verse when I was about 10 or 11.  I had gone swimming at my best friend’s house.  As I was riding my bike home, I noticed some neighborhood kids playing baseball in the yard of my neighbor.  Now, keep in mind that the neighborhood kids were always jealous that I got to swim in her in-ground pool, but then again, they never really wanted to be her friend any other time.

So, here I come, riding my bike in my bathing suit.  It was obvious where I’d been.  I wanted to rub it in that I’d gone swimming and they didn’t, so I made a big show of waving at them.  While I was haughtily showing off, I neglected to see the baseball stuck in a hole in the road.  Yep.

Next thing I knew, I experienced an intense jarring and flew over the handlebars of my bike.  My knee was torn open and my neighbor’s dad literally had to carry me home.

That was my lesson about how being haughty leads to destruction.  I still remember it quite vividly.

Learn from my mistake.  🙂

Still have the scar to prove it,

jamie

The day after Valentine’s Day…

Pr. 15:25:  “The Lord will destroy the house of the proud, but He will establish the boundary of the widow.”

It’s the day after Valentines Day and love is still important.  1 Peter 4:8-9 tells us, “And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”  Be hospitable to one another without grumbling.”

1 John 4:7 encourages us, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”

We are told to have sincere, heartfelt love for one another.  This is the kind of love that forgives, overlooks faults, and finds the good in others.  This is the kind of love God has for us.

So often we want this kind of love from others, but struggle or refuse to show this kind of love in return.  Although, we understand that we are not perfect and in need of forgiveness, and we often expect others to be perfect at all times.

We are told to be hospitable to one another without grumbling.  That is something that happens when our eyes are looking outward and not inward.  When we are truly able to love, forgive, understand, and pardon, hospitality comes much more easily.

Remembering that love is of God, we cannot afford to be too proud to show love.  This proverb says the Lord destroys the house of the proud.  Not only that, but He will establish those who are weak.  In God’s eyes, the weak are more desirable than the proud.

It is not weakness to show love.  It takes strong character to love someone the way we are told to love here.  It takes a lot of faith in God’s plan to truly forgive the sins and mistakes of those we love.  It takes humility to overlook faults and see what is good.  It takes humility and trust to believe that loving others God’s way is best.

So, on this day that is not ‘technically’ about love, we can determine in our hearts to show love the right way; to carry on loving those around us with God’s love, and to continue it day after day after day, until the Lord returns.

We don’t have to do this in our own strength.  We can call upon the God who is love for all the pointers we need.  Talk about a support system.

So, happy day after!  May the Lord who loves you, strengthen you this day as you trust Him enough to truly love His way.

My brothers and sisters, I love you all. 

jamie

CAN EVERYONE HEAR ME!?

Pr. 27:14:  “He who blesses his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it will be counted a curse to him.” 

I’ve always been a ‘morning person.’  I have no problem being loud first thing in the morning.  I used to walk in to work having already been up for 2 1/2 hours, so I was peppy, singing, etc.  Not everyone appreciated that, though.  ha!  We’re all wired differently.

This verse is talking more about “blessing” someone for the sake of others.  It speaks to making a show of blessing or praising someone, so that all will not look at that person, but rather at you.  As if you’re saying to everyone else, “Please listen to me as I praise this person!  I am 1st in line.  I am so eloquent.  I am compassionate and wise.  I am a wonderful human being.”

If that is the intention of the praise, then has the recipient truly been blessed?  Nah.  The one who we claim to be blessing will probably understand the true motive and therefore count it as a curse.

We should bless those around us, but not so that we can receive the credit or attention.  Instead it should be from a heart of true thanksgiving, understanding, and gratitude.  It should be for the other person’s sake, and not our own.

Look for a reason to bless someone.  We all need that.  But make sure that it’s not done so that you are actually the one receiving the praise.

Trying to whisper,

jamie

 

 

 

Doing good for your own soul

Pr. 11:17:  “The merciful man does good for his own soul, but he who is cruel troubles his own flesh.”

Well, I could walk around kicking puppies and stepping on people’s feet, but with an already fractured shin, I would not only hurt them, but further hinder my own recovery and possibly injure myself even more.  The same is true for any cruelty.

Showing mercy is like this heating pad on my knee…not only does it keep me from hurting others (since I’m sitting in one spot, minding my own shortcomings), but it brings warmth, comfort, and relief as my body is healing.

Just thinking out loud,

jamie

 

What’s that in your eye?

Mt. 7:3-4: “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?”

Have you ever wondered if the speck we are seeing in someone else’s eye is really a reflection of the plank in our own eye?  Perhaps the shadow of our plank is reflecting off the surface of their life.

It is so easy for us to notice the imperfections in others.  Sometimes I think we even create issues that aren’t truly there, as a result of our own guilty consciences or our own inner feelings.

A simple example of this is a tired child who cries over the unfairness of everything.  The real issue isn’t that everything everyone else is doing is actually unfair.  The real issue is their own plank:  they are tired and need to rest.  The specks they are seeing in everyone else are only a reflection of their own plank.

The examples of planks grow more serious as we grow older:  jealousy, insecurity, dishonesty, adultery, deception, addiction, two-facedness, etc.  All can result in an hypocrisy in our lives…we have these things within us, but harshly project them onto others or judge them in error, when what we “think” we see in them is really the reflection of our own internal issues.

Has anyone else noticed this?  This morning I read John 8 about the adulteress that was caught in the act and brought to Jesus for stoning. Certainly she had sinned and broken the law, but what Jesus asked her accusers was, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”

It is so easy for us to see the sins in the lives of others, and sometimes, perhaps the sin we see is real, but we really need to worry more about our own issues.

When we notice specks in the lives of those around us more often than we notice them in ourselves, it is likely that we are actually carrying around a plank.  Our plank is probably reflecting off of them and showing something that isn’t even there.

If that is the case, we need to seek the Lord’s counsel and help for our own sins and issues, and pray that the Lord would help us see others through His eyes of love.  When we submit to the Lord and allow Him to change us, the Word says that we will see clearly to remove the speck from our brother’s eye.  (If it’s our place to do so…and if there truly is one)

I hope that today, like me, you will bear with the specks on those around you, and ask God to remove the planks from your own life.  What a happier environment we will create as we do so.

Trying not to leave splinters,

jamie

Justice according to God…not us

Pr. 28:5:  “Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand all.”

In John 7:24, after Jesus was confronted by people complaining against Him, He said, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

It can be so easy for us to judge people and circumstances by what we see on the outside.  However, when we are seekers of the Lord, and are consistently gaining more understanding of Him and His will, we find that judgment does not come quite so easily.

The wisdom from the Lord helps us to understand justice according to God’s will and not our own.

We want revenge, but God says vengeance is His.  We want to strike back, but God says turn the other cheek.  We want to be found more faithful, but God says humble yourself and do not think more highly of yourself than you ought.  We believe in choice, but the Lord says to plead the cause of those unable to speak for themselves.

Justice, according to us, is self-seeking and certainly fickle.  One day we’re in a kind, peaceful, forgiving mood.  The next day we might find ourselves mad at the world.  If we seek justice according to our thoughts, emotions, feelings, and personal beliefs, disaster will certainly ensue.  How many wars, divorces, and divisions could have been avoided if personal justice wasn’t sought?

When we become more like Jesus, seeking the will of the Father, then we understand justice according to the One who is true.  God’s ways are not our ways, but plans are for good, and He has proven Himself through the ages to be faithful and sovereign.

If we are to understand justice, we should seek to understand justice from the viewpoint of our Father in heaven.  We can dig through His word and understand what true justice is.  When we seek the Lord we can understand all.

Looking inward,

jamie

Sowing harmony

Twice in Proverbs 6 there is mention of sowing discord.  How can we avoid sowing discord?

Becoming humble, understanding that we are imperfect ourselves, helps us not to sow discord.

Walking in the Spirit fills us with the fruit of the Spirit, which promote harmony:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Loving our neighbor as ourselves brings harmony.  If we truly love someone as ourselves, we will want things to be harmonious and not full of discord.

Serving others helps us to love them and to desire harmony with them and others.

Praying for those with whom discord seems to be inevitable.  When you are praying for someone…sincerely praying…it becomes very difficult to talk badly about them or to them.  Sincerely praying for another helps us to love them with the love of Christ.

Imitating Christ is another way to sow harmony instead of discord.  What better example than the One who gave Himself as a sacrifice for the world.

Forgiving helps us to sow harmony, as well.  We are asked to be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave us.

It is God’s will that we not sow discord.  Just check Proverbs 6, if you need confirmation.  I pray today that we will not allow discord to be what we sow, but that we will intentionally seek to sow harmony.  If we notice the seeds of discord in our seeder, we can ask God to help us replace them with those of harmony and love.  He will faithfully offer His aid.

Loving you,

jamie

Before you fall…

Pr. 16:18:  “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

One of my funniest “pride” moments was on stage during a play.  There was silence and I was thinking, “Who forgot their line?  Someone needs to be talking right now!”  The next thing I heard was someone speaking my line to me in the form of a question.  Because it turns out that I was the one who forgot their line, I was being rescued from embarrassment and the play was being rescued from silence.  Ha!

I can remember another moment of pride that is not quite so funny.  I received a letter once from a friend during a sinful time in my life.  Since she lived over 8 hours away, she wrote to let me know that she was concerned about the fact that my choices were going against God’s word.  She was concerned for my soul.  What an amazing friend!!  Truly she was living out Gal. 6:1, which says, “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any sin, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness.”

She was right, of course, but my pride and sin’s grip caused me to become angry as I read that letter.  I remember saying aloud that she needed to mind her own business and I wadded up the letter and threw it in the trash.  Oh, how I wish I would have heeded her words!  Her letter was something only a true friend can write.  It did plant a seed; however, and that was actually when I began feeling and hearing the Lord calling me back to Him.    (Thank you, my beautiful Amie.  I love you, girl!)

King Uzziah is recorded as a good and successful king of Judah.  2 Ch. 26:4 says, “he did what was right in the sight of the Lord.”  From there, we see that as long as Uzziah sought the Lord, God made Him prosper.  God helped him defeat his enemies, become prosperous, and become famous far and wide and gain much loyalty.

2 Ch. 26:16, “But when he was strong his heart was lifted up, to his destruction, for he sinned against the Lord his God by entering the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense.”  The Lord helped King Uzziah to become strong and mighty, but after he became strong, Uzziah’s pride caused him to think he was worthy to enter the temple of the Lord and do the job of priests.

God was very specific with His instructions about the temple, the priests, the altar, etc.  Because of Uzziah’s prideful decision, he was struck with leprosy, isolated, and cut off from the house of the Lord until the day he died.

Pride is an indicator of sin’s grip on our hearts.  We must remember the true source of our strength and provision.  Humbling ourselves before the King of Kings gives Him the opportunity to bless us, keep us, be gracious to us, and to give us true peace.  May God bless you today?

Bending my knee to Him,

jamie

Oh, the love in correction

Pr. 13:18:  “Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, but he who regards a rebuke will be honored.”

I’m sure it’s just the unconscious “I’m 5 now and it’s time to push all the boundaries” type of situation, but we have noticed a pattern of behavior in our little Levi lately.

It may seem unfair or shocking to you, but yesterday we felt it was necessary to have him pack away his toys and put them away until he can correct this issue within himself.  Because of our great love for Levi, we feel it’s very important to correct his disrespectful behavior while he is still young.  We understand, even if he doesn’t, that hitting, lying, and purposefully disobeying will not bring good to him throughout his life.

Truly poverty has come upon this little guy as his room is void of any toys and actually has an echo to it when you walk in.  He has been shamed in front of his sister who is making wiser choices and has a room full of toys.  He has the choice now to either disregard our newest correction, or to regard this rebuke and receive honor.

If he doesn’t receive our correction, things could stay that way for a while.  Certainly, however, as we see that his heart is receiving the message, he will begin to receive his toys back.

He is a little young for the in-depth conversations of cause and effect, consequences, and the laws of reaping what you sow, although I do counsel them both on these truths in ways they can understand.  He can, however, see the truth of cause and effect before his eyes when his intentional behavior causes him to lose privilege after privilege.

Poor guy.  I don’t like it, but we are told in the word that we must correct him now to save his soul, and that if he will honor his parents his life will go well.  There is more at stake than just behavior and compliance.

Naturally we want to train him in a way to prevent him from going to prison or being fired from a job in his later years. More importantly, though, is that in order to receive eternal life, he must humble himself before the Lord.  If he is to humble himself before a God he cannot see, he must be able to be humble.  Disrespect, selfishness, and lying are not attributes of a humble heart.  He must be taught and trained, and we love him too much not to try.

Just like him, sometimes we need correction to reveal to us that our heart is becoming hardened in sin or we are slipping into patterns of behavior that will drive us away from the Lord.  When correction comes our way, we can be thankful that God loves us enough to take the time to correct us.  He is slow to anger and rich in love.  Correction is not meant to be tyranny or manipulation, but point us back toward His loving arms.

Reminded,

jamie