Tag Archives: arrogance

A Call for Humility

IMG_2194There is irony in anyone writing an article on the topic of humility. How does one become arrogant and presumptuous enough to address the need for humility in others? Indulge me for a moment.

Andrew Murray said, “Pride must die in you, or nothing of heaven can live in you.” It seems that not enough of heaven is living in our world today. We know that until the Kingdom of Christ is established, we will struggle with the human dilemma of pride. But the pain of division, strife and war, much of it caused by our arrogance, is staggering. It seems that some adjustments must be made.

We think that our way is superior. We believe that we are better than others. We dare to assume we know more about others than they know about themselves. We have the nerve to determine the best course of life for those around us. We presume that our opinion is God’s opinion. “The proud wish God would agree with them. They are not interested in changing their opinions to agree with God’s.” (Ezra Taft Benson) The whole time, we ignore our lack of humility.

Humility may be defined as “a modest view of one’s importance.” We are not to demean or disrespect ourselves. But the Bible instructs us to not think too highly of ourselves. (Romans 12:3) It is a struggle for many. We think our opinions are always right – it is human nature.

But the damage that is done in relationships by a lack of humility is immeasurable.

Not only does a lack of humility destroy relationships, it destroys us. “Time and time again does the pride of man influence his very own fall. While denying it, one gradually starts to believe that he is the authority, or that he possesses great moral dominion over others, yet it is spiritually unwarranted. By that point he loses steam; in result, he falsely begins trying to prove that unwarranted dominion by seizing the role of a condemner.” (Criss Jami, Salomé: In Every Inch In Every Mile)

I feel compelled to ask you, please consider a more humble approach to life. If you spend time pointing out the faults of others. If you assume that you know more than others know. If you think that you are superior to others. If you disrespect others. If you refuse to consider that you could be wrong. If your opinion is God’s opinion. There is a problem.

The problem with humility is, if it is missing, one may not detect it. We can spot it in others, but we can’t detect it in ourselves.

A moment of quiet reflection: Take a few minutes to sit still and listen to the Lord. Allow Him, if necessary, to point out areas where you may be suffering from a lack of humility. I promise you, I am doing this right now and I have much work to be done in this area.

And hence, as I write about humility, I must be humble enough to consider that I could be all wrong!

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The Great Equalizer in Preaching

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You’re pouring your heart out. You preach like a man possessed (in a good way). You wax eloquent. And then it happens; you make eye contact with the one person in the crowd that can truly humble you – your spouse.

You can fake it with others, but not with her.

Possibly the most difficult part about being a preacher of the Gospel is that at least one of the listeners knows everything there is to know about you.  I think God plans it that way. The great equalizer for many preachers is that their spouse knows better.

It is easy; very easy to impress some crowds. Say the right things in the right way with your best preacher voice and you can wow the crowds. But when someone siting there knows the intimate secrets of who you really are, that is another story.

Preach about faith; she knows your doubts. Preach about prayer; she knows your prayer life. Preach about integrity; and she may smirk (inside).

I think God plans it that way. To keep you humble…to stay real…God reminds you that, no matter what you say, one other person there besides you and Him knows your bathroom habits.

I think the toughest part of being a preacher is that my wife sits there, amening me, nodding her head and being supportive, but knowing full well all my flaws. And still she graciously receives the Word. Quite humbling, I must say!  And good for us preacher-types, lest our arrogance get the best of us. Without these humbling realities, our heads would probably explode with pride. The way it is, it’s sometimes difficult to hold your head up while preaching when she’s in the crowd.

I’m thankful for grace from God and from my wife.

By the way, any preacher who won’t admit to this is either a liar or more spiritual than I am (which isn’t always saying much).


Get Over Yourself and Ask for Help

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I am being recalibrated. Until 6 months ago, I had enjoyed the kind of work and ministry that didn’t often require me to request the financial support of those around me. As a pastor of a local church for many years, we relied solely upon the generous donors in the church. They did this out of obedience to the Bible and commitment to the vision.

Now, as the leader of a ministry that requires the support of others in order to survive (a “mission state” for our denomination), I am compelled to ask outsiders for help. Interestingly, they are giving it. I am humbled and blessed to be a part of a faith family that believes in us and wants to invest in our future. I am learning how to ask for help.

This (the asking) does not come naturally for me. I still struggle to ask for money. But because I believe in what we are doing, I have to overcome that struggle.

There were 3 things I had to get over in order to be able to ask for a little help from my friends:

Pride: (arrogance, self-reliance). I simply had to come to terms with the fact that I needed help, that we could not do it alone. This is difficult for a leader to do. It is a humbling thing to ask for help.

Fear of being a pest: I do not like to be the one who makes others uncomfortable.  The thought that someone rolls their eyes when they see me on caller ID makes me cringe. I had to overcome that.

Disrespecting myself because we need help: We do not have less value because we are small in number.

It’s good for us to be in a spot where we need help.  This has been a healthy adjustment for me; a time of growth. I do pray and work toward the day when we will no longer need the financial assistance of our friends. I really want to be the one who provides the help to others, and we are trying to do that, even now. But thank God, we are getting by and even making progress as our friends are helping us.

Let me encourage you – ask for help when you need it.