73 Boasting

The fifth secret to finding humility is:  Learning not to boast.

Now, brothers and sisters, I’ve applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.”  Then you will not be a puffed up follower of one of us over against the other.  For who makes you different from anyone else?  What do you have that you did not receive?  And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?  I Corinthians 4:7

Our hearts may feel empty and alone.  We try to fill ourselves with positive thoughts, but they don’t make us feel better.  We proceed to compare ourselves with others.  We may feel a little better, but comparison leads to pride and an inflated view of self.  Pride, at least, feels better than its flip side, shame.  We have learned to boast to keep ourselves in this “up” state.  This pride truly locks us into shame.  Humility helps us find genuine freedom.

We can so easily fall back into boasting.  Shouldn’t we get credit for the good we do?  We try to combat our shame by feeling good about our accomplishments but to no avail.  Instead, we need to take the path of humility so as to find relief from our shame.  If we humble ourselves before God, He will lift us up. (I Pet. 5:6)  We need to trust Him. (Prov. 29: 25)

We don’t even realize when we boast because it has become a habit.  It comes naturally.  We don’t think about our boastful thoughts as we constantly compare ourselves to others.  We rate ourselves based on these comparisons.

Alternatively, we can commend others.  We need to avoid our tendency to laud ourselves.  We need to look for the contributions others bring, tell them how they have enhanced the world around them and thank them for these contributions.  Instead of craving accolades let’s give them.  “Love your neighbor as yourself…and in humility value others above yourselves.” (Matthew 22:39…Philippians 2:3 emphasis mine)  Keep in mind, if no one repays the favor, great!  We then have an opportunity to humble ourselves.

Above all, we need to give the highest tribute to God.  He is the Author of everything good. (James 1:17)  Giving God worship, praise and thanksgiving will go against our tendency to credit ourselves.  Any qualities we possess (intelligence, attractiveness, athletic prowess, musicality and other talents), we received as gifts from God.

Acknowledging my tendency to boast,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME:  Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received so that others can better see. We have a dream & need support and prayers.

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67 Humility I

Two recent occurrences led me to think on humility.  One was a friend of mine at Bible study who said, “Pride will not enter the kingdom of God,” and a Bible study leader who told me that we must humble ourselves to hear God.  Often, in our pride, we are unable to hear God telling us He loves us.  Also, we think we deserve better than what we have received in life.  “If God really loved me, then He would not have X, Y or Z”—fill in the letters with how we think that God has disappointed us.

I have a deep and abiding understanding of this phenomenon.  I have wrestled with it most of my life.  “If God really loved me, He would not have let my mom die when I was eight and a half years old.”  Do you hear the case I was making in that?  Yes, it was really quite tough on me, but to say that God did not love me because my mom died makes my reality more important than that of the Living God, Creator of heaven and earth.  Do I really know better than God what is true?  We all need to humble ourselves before Him to receive His love.

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.  Luke 1:14

…humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.  James 1:21

We resist humbling ourselves.  In America, we are so concerned with our rights.  Consider those who talk about abortion rights or the right to bear arms.  Without meaning to offend anyone, consider how we view these as rights.  Think of other things you consider your right to have, like, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.  We need to let go of an entitlement mentality and enter God’s mentality that He has for us.  Think of it—we do not have rights with Him but God loves us.  We need to humble ourselves before Him.  He knows what is best for us.  We need to trust Him in order to submit ourselves under His mighty hand.  He is completely trustworthy and does not change like a shifting shadow.  (James 1:17)

Do you want to be exalted?  Then humble yourself!  Even though this goes against the grain of our nature, we still need to humble ourselves because it is true.  Consider the alternative.  Go ahead and exalt yourself.  You will find yourself humbled by someone somewhere.  God is true to His word.  You can count on it.  What do you prefer, to humble yourself and be exalted, or to exalt yourself and be humbled?

When we humble ourselves, God meets us.  In humility, we place ourselves to receive from Him.  He has much to give to us but we cannot receive from Him when we are in a place of pride.  He gladly would give to us if we would but humble ourselves.  “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.” (I Peter 5:6)

Wanting to be exalted,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received.  We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Back to Outline:  http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com