A Lesson in Humility

The past two Sundays I have received encouragement from God during church (written about previously here and here). As I prepared for church this past Sunday I looked forward to what God would reveal to me that morning. I do realize that I should probably approach every day looking for God to speak truth to me – I’m a work in progress. It seems that am beginning a season where I feel more open to God and am trying to have a heart that is tender toward him.

Two weeks ago I started attending the women’s Bible study on Wednesday mornings. We are doing a study called Seeking Him by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Tim Grissom. The first week was an introduction to what revival means. The fifth day of the personal study gave an assessment to show us areas in our lives where we could use God to work. It was quite revealing. One of the first areas where I was convicted was in humility.

I don’t really consider myself a boastful person. I am an introvert so I don’t tend to take over conversations or talk about everything I have done and am doing. However I don’t necessarily rejoice with those who are receiving accolades and success and sometimes I ruminate when my contributions are not acknowledged. So, naturally, week two of the study is all about humility.

I am actually glad that this topic is dealt with more in depth. It has allowed me to see ways that pride (the opposite of humility) is manifested in my life. My pride tends to deal with my self-image and what I allow others to see (or how I want others to see me). I am guilty of trying to do as much as possible on my own so that I can be the one who “does it all”. I’m not good at asking for help or depending on others. I struggle with being open about my mistakes because I fear others will judge me harshly. I tend to compare various aspects of myself with others.

What ought I to be doing instead? Being open to others and asking for help when needed. Admitting my mistakes, seeking forgiveness and reconciliation when I wrong others or others wrong me and finding my worth in Christ. I was not created to be another Christy or Tracy or Amanda. I was created for a unique purpose. And I wasn’t made to be perfect or faultless. If I was, I’d have no need for grace or Jesus.

Now back to Sunday morning. I am not a very demonstrative person. For the last couple of weeks I have been thinking that I should lift my hands some when singing praise songs to God in church. Not because others are but because I want to show my love for and devotion to God. It has been an internal struggle because part of me feels foolish and thinks it might draw attention (the introvert in me). However, I realized on Sunday while singing that it was part pride as well. I was concerned with what others would think. Was I at church to please other people? No. Was I singing for the benefit of other people? No. (By the by, it has taken me quite a few years to feel comfortable singing out loud with other people. I’m still not completely there but it doesn’t really hinder me like it used to. Not that this means I’ll do any kind of solo singing for anyone other than my kids either.) So I spent a good part of the music time debating whether or not to raise my arms. It carried into the message time. I affirmed to myself, “If there’s music at the end of the service (there nearly always is) I’ll raise my hands then.”

We finished the time of communion after the message and the band began to play. “Okay,” I said to myself, “the moment of truth.” And then we sang this part of Hillsong United’s “The Stand”:

I’ll stand
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the one who gave it all
I’ll stand
My soul Lord to you surrendered
All I am is yours

I laughed to myself at the absurdity of my conundrum. God is so good and faithful! I raised my arms to about chest level with palms up. That may not seem like much but it’s a huge step for me. I know God will continue to meet me where I am and lead me to where he wants me to go. My job is to continue to acknowledge his promptings, confess any sin that is revealed, repent, and take steps forward.

How is God working in your life right now? Do you also struggle with humility? Trust God and take that first step toward where he is calling you!

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