God is good at what He does. He trains, rebukes, and teaches in love; and pulls me along side Himself as He shows me the conduct He wants to grow in my life. Lately He has been teaching me about humility. It hasn’t been pretty. I’ve done a lot of soul searching and wrestling with God. I’ve questioned. I’ve given excuse after excuse. But this is what it comes down to:
He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? ~ Micah 6:8
There it is in black and white. It is required of me to walk humbly with my God.
I am not to desire recognition, awards, or praise.
I am not to desire prestige, distinction, or complements.
I am to be a living sacrifice to my God.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. ~ Psalm 51:17
So how does God mold into us a broken and contrite heart? I’ve been learning that there are four characteristics of criticism which teach us humility.
1. Criticism comes when you need it the least. It always seem to come when we’ve already been kicked down to the bottom of the hill of life. Work has been difficult, or the family has been argumentative…and then some person makes a comment that just chaps my hide! (Sorry. That’s southern talk!) But I must respond as God wants me to: in a manner worthy of His name.
2. Criticism comes when you do not deserve it. This has happened to me recently. And I had such a difficult time trying to figure out what in the world I did! But what I have to realize and accept is that not everyone is going to like me. All I was doing was being myself. And this person telling me that I was a bother really hurt my pride.
3. Criticism comes from a person least qualified to give it. This happens all the time in church ministry. I don’t know how pastors and church staff deal with this on a regular basis, but as a volunteer who has led in many different capacities over the years, this NEVER seems to get easier for me because I have high expectations of Christians. But I’ve learned over the years that I must shower grace and mercy upon those who criticize. It’s not easy! But I try to do it…after I grit my teeth and breathe deeply.
4. Usually criticism comes in the least helpful form. Have you ever had anyone criticize or complain about something, but then give no good way to solve the problem? I mean, if someone has thought through a problem, he should at least offer a workable solution or personally offer to help solve the problem. This can be so frustrating! But again, I have to accept the criticism and react as Jesus would want me to…even if what I really want to do is overturn the tables!
In all these situations God teaches us how to walk humbly with Him. I’ve been apologizing ALOT recently. And I’m sure I have wronged someone somehow today.
During the past three to four months while I been dealing with humiliating situation after humiliating situation, I have been praying for wisdom. I want to be wise so badly!! Take a look at the verses God blessed me with yesterday morning. My Abba Father is SO good!!
“When pride comes, then comes dishonor, But with the humble is wisdom.” ~ Proverbs 11:2
“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise wins souls.” ~ Proverbs 11:30
So humility brings about wisdom, and wisdom wins souls.
Sounds like a good deal to me.
I think I’ll learn my humility lessons.