104 Relinquishing

We want what we want when we want it, and we want others to be happy when we get it. We may pray earnestly God gives us what we want and feel disappointed when we do not receive it in our time frame. We might get insistent and demanding with God. In these times we need to relinquish control to God.

He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup from Me; yet, not my will, but Yours be done.” Luke 22:41

Relinquishing prayer does not mean we let go of all our desires. Rather, we pray for what we want in an attitude of humility, not demanding God to grant our request, but asking for our heart’s desire and leaving the answer to God.

Today I read about Dorrie, a Filipino young woman who exemplified relinquishing prayer. She took a ride on the ship Christopher. A furious storm sank the ship which had no life-boats and far too few life-vests. Dorrie swam poorly and had no life-vest. She clung to a piece of floating wood from the ship. After sinking and returning to the surface three times, she saw a large fire extinguisher floating at her. She held it in one hand and the wood in the other. The storm and waves had separated her from others. She sung to the Lord as night approached and prayed. She saw two bras and had a sudden insight to use them to tie together the wood and extinguisher. She then leaned upon them. By early morning she was exhausted and dehydrated. When a sudden rain fell, she said, “Thank you, Jesus!” and drank it. After another three hours she was so weak that she prayed, “Lord, I’m ready to die in the sea to be with You, but I’m also ready to live to serve You. You choose, Lord; Your will be done.” Two carrots floated to her. She received a bit of strength from eating them. Half an hour later, seventeen hours after the ship sank, she was rescued.*

Relinquishing prayer involves opening our hands rather than grasping for what we want. We hold loosely the things we want and allow God to work in our hearts as well as our circumstances. We present our requests to God not knowing how He will answer. While waiting, we thank Him for His goodness to us and find “the peace that surpasses understanding.” (Philippians 4:7)

Receiving His peace,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement.

Living for the glory of God by grace received through faith in the Messiah, the Word of God made flesh.  We have a dream & request support and prayers.

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*Robert Doorn, The Filipinos Are Coming! pp. 39-41


102 Humility Not Shame

I last blogged in June of 2014. I have been working through a lot of things, especially moving out of our apartment last year. I finally decided to take a year off in keeping with Exodus 23:10-11, “For six years you are to sow your fields and harvest the crops, but during the seventh year let the land lie unplowed and unused.” Some people call this the Shemitah year. That occurred from September 2014 to September 2015. Lately, I have been taking care of Marguex, and we are working through buying a house, so still very busy. I want to start blogging again and am taking the time to do this. Here is the first of what hopefully will be a long series of more blogs. Thanks for being patient.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom Proverbs 11:2

Last time I wrote about magic-bullet prayer. We cannot make God do our bidding. We simply lay our requests before Him and trust Him with the answers. We need to persist in prayer in humility, not demanding our way with God. Humility involves surrendering our will to God’s will.

Yet, we need to take care of ourselves. We need to provide for our needs and desires. We need to assert ourselves, right? Modern psychology certainly would back all these statements. However, I find the Bible to take a very different approach. According to the Bible, we need to humble ourselves before God, and He will provide for us.

To humble ourselves, we need to cast our cares upon God in trusting obedience. We humbly look to Him to provide for all of our needs and even to decide what it is we really need. We accept His will for our lives and lay aside our selfishness and selfish ambition.

To humble ourselves may seem like shame. We need to learn the difference. In humility we acknowledge our limitations before the Almighty God. In shame we say that we are less than others. Shame leads to pride, not humility. We can humble ourselves without rejecting ourselves. Rejecting ourselves exhibits pride because we claim to have some authority to decide whether or not we are acceptable. God has already accepted us in His own dear Son Whom He loves!

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

God wants us to humble ourselves so that He can exalt us. Humility is not about making ourselves nothing, but about receiving the gift of what God thinks about us. Shame and humility are not the same thing. We need ongoing revelation on this to discern the difference.

Looking for His ongoing revelation,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching/shepherding 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.

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98 Not an Option

Either we humble ourselves, or we will be humbled. Humbling ourselves is the better option.

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. Luke 18:14

Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.” Mark 10:42-44

James and John requested to be next to Jesus in the Kingdom of God. The rest of the disciples reacted to James and John’s request in a typically human manner. In a like manner, we seek to be elevated over others. We also resent those over us. How peculiar, we resent those who succeed but if we were to succeed, we would think we deserved our success and others should be glad for us. We cling to this double standard. We wish ourselves fortune and others failure. We won’t complain when we get what is better. We only say, “That’s not fair!” when others get something better than we do.

How about this: The next time we get some special benefit, say, “It’s not fair that I received this special privilege that others didn’t receive!” Let’s try it now, “It’s not fair that I get to live in the first world while others are living in destitute poverty all around the world! It’s not fair that I am saved while others are going to hell. It’s not fair that I get to experience God’s love while others know nothing about it! I don’t deserve all the special privileges I am receiving!”

Complaining, “It’s not fair,” about receiving some benefit goes against our natural tendencies. Our flesh is naturally selfish. We want what we want when we want it, and we want others to be happy about it. “Me! Me! Me!” is the cry of our hearts. Telling ourselves to be humble is like teaching a cat to do tricks. We cannot make ourselves humble. Neither can others make us humble because that would be shaming.

“He who humbles himself…” How then do we humble ourselves? We definitely need God’s help in the process, and the great thing is we can ask for His help. This is in itself an act of humbling ourselves before Him. I hope to talk about prayer and God’s nature in upcoming posts.

Prayerfully Yours,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching/Shepherding Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we have been comforted.

We have a dream & need support and prayers.

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97 Humility Summary

The secrets to humility change how we relate to others. These secrets are:  Weakness, Worship Listening Obedience, Confession, Learning not to Boast, Responsibility, Overlooking an Offense, Pain, Asking for Help, Receiving Gifts, Thankfulness, Receiving Compliments, Seeking to Understand, Advice, Yielding an Argument, Understanding Anger, Forgiving, Giving, Serving, Contentment, Waiting, Joy, Kindness, Rest, The Right Fear, Salvation and Clothed.

Does the above list seem impossible to accomplish? Good, because it is. We cannot humble ourselves with our own power. Owning our inability to make ourselves humble actually moves us closer to true humility. Realizing our limitations, we cry out to God for help, placing ourselves under His mighty hand.

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him Who called us by His Own glory and goodness. II Peter 1:3

The humility list could continue indefinitely. Any circumstance beyond our ability teaches us humility. When bad things happen, let us rejoice! Yes, rejoice in the bad things that happen to us. God uses them to develop humility in our character. (James 1:2-4) We need humility to receive the good things God has for us as gifts. Faith, hope and love (I Corinthians 13:13) also become a part of our character. These four traits work together.

A secret for losing humility is to talk about how good we are at it. (Luke 18:12) Even if we are not boasting about how humble we have made ourselves, talking about humbling ourselves can open our hearts to seeking praise from men rather than praise from God. In reminding one another of the need to humble ourselves we need to be sensible of the temptation toward claiming credit.

We resist humbling ourselves. Humbling ourselves can be agonizing because we become aware of the shame as well as the other feelings and memories that go with it. Pride masks our shame. Letting go of pride makes us vulnerable. Allowing ourselves to look at all of this is a step in the process of finding freedom from pride, shame and perfectionism. We allow ourselves to heal when we let go of denying our shame. We can respond to shame either with humility or with pride. Shame is masked by pride. We are not freed from shame by pride. God liberates us with humility. We are freed from shame as we humble ourselves under His mighty hand. (1 Peter 5:6)

Realizing I have lots to let go of,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching/Shepherding Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we have been comforted.

We have a dream & need support and prayers.

Blog Outline at: http://www.livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com


96 Clothed

The twenty eighth secret to humility is being clothed with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. Roman 13:14

When we accept salvation as God’s gift, we receive Jesus into our hearts. Jesus still sits on His throne in Heaven, but He also lives in us by His Spirit. This is a great mystery of the Trinity. God gives us Jesus because God’s nature is to give. He wants Jesus to live in us! We may resist Jesus, but Jesus does not withhold Himself from us.

Jesus lives in us. We also live in Him. He holds us like clothing does. In clothing ourselves in Jesus, we choose Him over ourselves. We let go of the desires of the sinful nature and instead desire Jesus. We humbly acknowledge that what Jesus gives us is much better than what we could want apart from Him.

When we clothe ourselves with Jesus, we rankle (wrinkle) our sin natures. Our sin natures resist Jesus and his work in our lives. We need to choose Jesus over sin. When we choose Jesus, we clothe ourselves in Him.

In being clothed in Jesus, we take on His nature. We allow ourselves to be transformed into His likeness. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)

“Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” (I Corinthians 11:1) Being transformed into Christ’s image is a process. We imitate Christ. We often fail as we seek to imitate Him. We are far from perfect. When we choose to follow Jesus’ example, we get some idea of how far away from that example we are. Realizing this is humbling.

We humble ourselves as we find how much we are not like Christ and then choose to continue to seek and follow Him. In this life we will never get to the point that we can say that we are just like Him, but we still make our aim to be like Him. Being transformed into the likeness of Jesus is a process. We need to humble ourselves before Him and ask Him to transform us more and more into His image.

Being clothed,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching/Shepherding 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.

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95 Salvation

Another secret to finding humility is receiving the Savior’s free gift.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

We cannot save ourselves. We would like to think we could. We want to prove ourselves worthy of praise and approval. We seek to earn the praise and approval we so desperately desire. We strive to fill the deep emptiness in our souls with accomplishments. This simply does not work. We need to accept that Jesus has done for us what we are not able to do for ourselves. We need to accept His love, which fills the deep emptiness of our souls. We need to accept salvation as God’s free gift to us.

Salvation is God’s plan, but we resist it because we think we need to earn approval. (Romans 4:5) We need to let go of our old ways of thinking and instead accept God’s truth. We can hear God speaking to us through the Bible. The Bible says that we are sinners in need of salvation. We resist this message because we intend to prove ourselves worthy. We counter God’s truth with our own ideas, which are not actually true.

These ideas which we hold onto so dearly feel true. (Perhaps you have seen this in me by reading the e-letters.) We believed many of them for most of our lives. We learned them as small children. Our families and culture reinforce these ideas because our society in general believes them true. We live in a culture that rewards hard work. God’s Kingdom provides a very different paradigm—His pain, our gain. In God’s Kingdom, God does the work, and we reap the benefit. This may sound strange to some of you. The Bible clearly shows this as true. Some may question because what the world says seems truer than what God says. We need God to reveal truth to us in order for us to let go of the world’s ways of thinking.

We do have a role to play. (Philippians 2:12) We believe. We receive. We engage in disciplines. But God saves us, and He sanctifies us “according to His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). We cannot take credit for our salvation. In faith and humility we open ourselves to God, and He does the rest by saving us. We believe in God, not in ourselves. It’s like pedaling a bicycle verses walking it along. We rest in our salvation.

I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. II Corinthians 6:2

Will we choose God’s way rather than our own?

Thankful for the ride,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching/Shepherding Hospitality Mercy Encouragement

Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we have been comforted.

We have a dream & need support and prayers.

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


94 The Right Fear

Number 26 secret to finding humility is the Right Fear.

You may wonder at this phrase, the Right Fear. The Bible tells us not to be afraid. However, fear does have an appropriate place. Consider Who deserves your fear. Turn your fear towards Him.

I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you Whom you should fear: Fear Him Who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him. Luke 12:4-5

We need to trust God more than we fear Him. Yet, fearing God informs our trust in Him. When we fear God, we have some idea of how much we need to trust Him.

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:28-29

Since you call on a Father Who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. I Peter 1:17

The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor. Proverbs 15:33

If we think we know better than God what is good for us, we exhibit incredible amounts of pride. Adam and Eve thought that they knew better than God what would be good for them and so ate the fruit forbidden to them. They believed the one who lacked an appropriate fear of God and chose not to fear God themselves. Likewise, we lack fear of God when we choose our way instead of God’s.

In fear we humbly submit to God. He truly deserves our fear because He is awesome in majesty. He is all-knowing and all-powerful. Yet His awesome splendor, holiness and power can be scary. We can be reassured that He also loves us. To know how much He loves us, we also need to know how undeserving we are of His love.

Fear of God engages our hearts. We need more than right doctrine and thoughts about God. We need to experience the truth of what we believe. We recognize how awesome and mighty God is. We realize how sinful we have been. To allow this knowledge, this reality into our hearts leads us to fear God. Out of this fear, this deep sense of awe, can grow a deep and abiding trust in God. We become grateful when we acknowledge God’s mercy towards us as we realize what we deserve.

In C.S. Lewis’ book, The Silver Chair, Jill Pole found herself in the circumstance of being incredibly thirsty. She went in search of a stream which she had heard. But terror struck her to the core when she saw next to the stream the immense Lion Who had blown her friend away. Pushing through her fear, she decided to trust this Lion, Aslan, enough to take a drink. The water was incredibly sweet.

Finding the Right Fear,

Noah Woodrich

WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching/shepherding 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


93 Rest

Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30

Secret number 25 to finding humility is Rest.

I like to rest. How about you? When I was single, my housemates could have told you that my favorite pastime was lying on the couch. Yet, I really resist resting. I have lots of things to do. I need to get them done. Time is passing, and so I need to hurry to accomplish my goals—or so I think.

We hurry because we lack trust. Lacking trust leads to striving. When we do not trust God to provide, we take on the onus of finding provision. “Do I want or need anything?” We look for ways to get our needs and desires met. When we do not trust God to provide for us, then we strive to get it by our own effort. We burden ourselves.

The way we counter this tendency is to strive to enter His rest. (Hebrews 4:11) Strange but true, we need to exert effort in order to rest! We have developed the habit of work. We need to develop a new habit of entering His rest, His Sabbath rest, a rest we can live in daily as we walk in the works He prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)

Resting might provoke fear in us. At these times, we need to remember that God has everything in control. We belong to Him, and He will take care of us. After all, nothing we do on our own will last. “LORD, You establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished You have done for us.” (Isaiah 26:12) Anything of eternal value comes from Him. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, Who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17)

We need to seek God for His direction. As we learned last time, we can pray and fast. However, praying and fasting do not accomplish anything in of themselves. In fact, fasting helps us to realize how truly weak we are. The real power (ability) for change comes from God.

When we rest, we see God move in our lives. He moves without our help or effort. This feels humbling. God does not need our help. We do need God’s help.

Striving to enter His rest,

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.

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To Be is to Do. –Socrates; To Do is to Be. –Descartes; To Do Be Do Be Do. –Sinatra


91 Kindness

Hi, there, Noah has just started a new job in the past few weeks and this topic is one that is near and dear to my heart.  I offer my best attempt at writing.

A kindhearted woman gains respect but ruthless men gain only wealth.  A kind man benefits himself, but a cruel man brings trouble on himself.  Prov. 11:16-17

The twenty third secret to humility is Kindness.

For many of us the term kindness has been vilified.  Oh, kindness is just being codependent.  Why care for the clerk when we have many other things to think of and people to consider.  We often figure that there are others who will meet this person’s heart.  We are not their pastor, priest or rabbi.  Or are we?  Does not Peter (I Peter 2:9) remind us that we are all called to be priests?  We have a voice and authority to speak into people in our lives.

Say, for example, we are sitting next to a couple and we hear them talk of the loss of a family member.  It would be inappropriate to acknowledge that we overheard such a sensitive matter.  Or would it?  Is that not the deception the enemy would have us believe?  Perhaps that is the specific reason the great High Priest has placed us there.  All it takes is a polite, “Pardon me, I am sorry that I overheard, but may I pray for you in this hard time?”  Of the many ways this could play out, one being that they gladly accept the prayer, is that they could refuse.  If this happens, you can very politely and delightedly say that you like to hear people say, “No.”  This gives them a new view of God and also of believers.

Humility applies at this point.  When we are kind to people, we risk being rejected.  To be kind, we need to offer our best to others not knowing if they will receive or reject what we have to offer.  Further, we “consider others above ourselves” when we are kind to them.

C.S. Lewis wrote kindness is not the same as being nice.  When we are being kind, we consider the other person’s ultimate good.  They may not appreciate in the moment what we are offering them and we may not receive any earthly reward for what we do for them.  In humility we let go of any expectation of how we will be treated for our kindness.

Actually, we benefit ourselves when we are kind.  As the verse above states, we gain the respect of others.  We may see this as people return our kindnesses with kindness toward us.  Yet, the greatest benefit is how we are changed as we show kindness towards others.  For example, when we bless others when they curse us, we are transformed into the Lord’s image through His renewing power.

Finding His kindness,

Marguex (with some minor input from 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.

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89 Waiting

The twenty first secret to humility is Waiting.

Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.  Proverbs 16:32

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.  It teaches us to…to live self-controlled…lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ…  Titus 2:11-13

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.  Colossians 4:2

I hate waiting.  Actually, I despise it.  I have as long as I can remember.  I hated waiting in the lunch line.  I hated waiting for the bus.  I hated waiting in line for a ride at fairs.

I felt like I was being held captive whenever I had to wait, especially in a line.  If I could sit and wait, such as in a waiting room for the dentist, I could at least occupy myself with reading a magazine.  Still, I would feel stuck.  I was somewhere I did not want to be.  Waiting involved being forced to do something I did not want to do, even when that meant I was being forced to do nothing.

The point behind this secret is that we need to yield our will to that of others.  For example, in the line we yield to the people ahead of us.  We also become part of that line.  In the same way, the others behind us need to yield to us.

I used to take some comfort in watching a line behind me grow even as the line ahead of me decreased.  It was like payback; I got to laugh at those behind me.  “I had to wait so long, and now you have to!”  I liked it even better when I saw that others had to wait longer than I did.  My wife says, “Insert villain laugh here.”  Of course, laughing at other people waiting missed the power of the secret.

Waiting can develop humility in us if we will allow ourselves to release our frustrations to God and allow our hearts to become serene, as we trust in Him.  We need to let go of an attitude of resentment.  We need to learn to be satisfied where we are while we wait for what we need.  Knowing that we have everything we need for life and godliness helps us to learn patience.

As to our spiritual development, we need to open our hearts to the hope of becoming more like Christ.  We wait for God to do His work in us.  While we wait, we can watch what He is doing and thank Him for it.  We can pray that He continues to do His work in us.  Consider, we want God’s presence which we can have anywhere at any time.

The church has been waiting for Christ’s return for almost two thousand years.  Imagine this:  Jesus Himself has been waiting to come back.  He has been very patient in His waiting.

Watching and waiting,

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


88 Contentment

Secret number 20 to finding humility is Contentment.

Someone we know had the following thoughts on discontent:  By nature we are discontented.  No matter what we get in life, we will never be fully satisfied.  We can find something to complain about in whatever circumstances we find ourselves.  If that is really true (and I find it true for myself), then how can we find real contentment?

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through Him Who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:12-13

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  Hebrews 13:5

The Apostle Paul experienced times of plenty as well as times of lack.  He fully expected those to whom he wrote to experience similar times of plenty and lack.  He indicated that we can find contentment in either situation.  When times are good we expect the good times to continue into the future.  We can become disappointed when we enter a time of lack.  One clue to contentment is to enjoy the present.  Life is a roller coaster.  We need to expect the ups and downs, throw our hands in the air and say, “wheeeee!”

Paul gives us another clue:  “I can do everything through Him Who gives me strength.”  We need to find our life in Jesus.  Hebrews 13:5 implies a similar thought.  We can be content with what we have because we have God’s presence with us.  No matter what is taken from us, no one can take God’s presence from us.  By the way, the hands in the air could be utilized to praise Him for the adventure and also that He is trustworthy and knows the track and has made it stable.

Okay, so, this is all very fine theology, but when we are hungry or thirsty, cold or hot, in need or full, theology does little to comfort us.  Times of lack give us the opportunity to learn real contentment, not just lofty ideals of how one could possibly become content.  When we lack, we connect with our brokenness as well become aware of how much we cannot control our circumstances.  When we feel our need we can become scared.  This is especially true for those of us who deal with perfectionism.  Neediness is terrifying because perfectionism is about proving ourselves to others and even more to self how not in need we are.

Contentment does not mean denying feeling needy.  Rather, contentment means finding peace and joy even in the midst of lack and neediness.  Humility comes in at this point when we own our need.  Lasting peace and joy come from the Lord Himself not from the circumstances of our lives being perfect.  When in need, we cry out to Him and find the Lord meeting our hearts.  He says, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  We find ultimate satisfaction in Christ

Learning the secret of contentment,

Noah & Marguex 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


87 Serving

Secret number 19 to finding humility is Serving.

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.  Mark 10:45

As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  John 13:34

Jesus provides our example.  He served.  He could have demanded we serve Him.  After all, He was the Ultimate Authority of the universe come to Earth.  He deserves our worship, honor and praise.  Yet, He did not demand any of this.  Rather, He came and served.

Not only did Jesus preach the Gospel and heal the sick, He even got Himself killed in the process of making sure our sins were accounted for—every one of them.  Consider the billions of people who have ever existed, and the countless sins each one of us has committed.  Jesus died for every single sin!  Oh, that all would take advantage of this heart freeing truth: their sins are covered!

Now, to follow Jesus’ example does not mean we will all be martyred, although many throughout the world have died/are dying and will die for Christ.  Yet we all are to serve one another.  Service takes a variety of forms, such as, doing practical things to help others.

The reality is, though, we resist serving others.  We think:  Why should I?  What do I get out of it?  I don’t feel like it, nor do I have the time or energy.  Others’ needs are not my concern.

We need to hear our Master, “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”  He could have stayed in Heaven.  He made the ultimate sacrifice just to be born a human.  Then, He was mocked, abused and tortured to death.  He did not have to do this, except that this was His whole plan.  He chose to allow Himself to be treated so shamefully in order to save us.

Truly, we need to let go of our pride to serve others.  We need to put them ahead of ourselves.  We take care of others as if we are taking care of ourselves.  “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 19:19)  This requires us to let go of our agenda.  We need, instead, to care about others’ condition.

How can we serve others?  What do we hear God calling us to do today?

How can I serve you?  Your Servant,

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


86 Giving

Secret number 18 to finding humility is Giving.

It is more blessed to give than to receive.  Acts 20:35

Freely you have received.  Freely give.  Matthew 10:88

Love your neighbor as yourself.  Matthew 19:19

Jesus commanded us to love.  Giving is one way to love.  We know this, yet we resist giving.  How many organizations ask us for money?  Lots, and not just at Christmas.  We get letters all year long for money.  We see appeals for charities on TV, in magazines and in news-papers.  We sometimes feel barraged.  I add to this with my own appeal.

We give, and yet how much giving is enough?  Jesus said “[I]f anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is My disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.” (Matthew 10:42)  Any size gift matters in God’s Kingdom.  Yet, our question remains, how much do we give?

We need to hear from our Master what He would have us give.  Our flesh wants nothing to do with giving.  The world and the enemy foster selfishness and self-protection.  We tend to want to keep what we have, perhaps giving small tokens as long as that does not mean any personal sacrifice on our part.  Our Master calls us to sacrifice.  “Greater love has no one than this: that he lay down his life for his friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command.”  (John 15:13-14)

We do not like to hear “sacrifice”.  Humility enters and compels us to think of others above ourselves.  We need to lay aside our desires, plans and agendas in order to give sacrificially.

God does not call us to give what we do not have.  He does, however, call us to lay aside some of our own needs and desires in order to care for others.  What do you feel called by God to give to someone or some organization?

Keep in mind, when we give, we have this promise from God:

My God will meet your every need out of His riches in the glory that is found in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:19

Humbly yours,

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


85 Forgiving

Secret number 17 to finding humility is to forgive.  Jesus taught the disciples to pray to the Father like this, “And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” (Mt. 6:12)  Undoubtedly, you have heard much about God’s forgiveness.  It seems to be the primary topic used by teachers of the Word.  His forgiveness enables us to be in relationship with God.  Forgiveness is vital.  Yet it can take time and requires humility.

We need to forgive others as an act of faith through the power of the blood of Jesus.  Our lack of forgiveness shows unbelief in the power of His blood to make atonement for everyone’s sins.  To be consistent, we need to recognize the blood is good enough not only for our sins but also for the sins committed against us.  In fact, submitting to Jesus’ Lordship necessarily involves forgiving those who hurt us.  Keep in mind the story of the servant who was forgiven much and then went and demanded payment from a fellow servant for a small amount. (Matt. 18:23-35)

“But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”  Matt. 6:15

Receiving God’s forgiveness enables us to forgive others, which then frees us from the shame and hurt caused us by other’s sin against us.  If we refuse to forgive others at this point, we then block ourselves from receiving God’s forgiveness.  We need to forgive in order to receive forgiveness.  Do you want to be forgiven?  Then forgive.  This is easy to write but how do we forgive others who have wronged us?  We first need to keep in mind that we have been forgiven by God and by others.  Whether or not we feel forgiven, we need to remember that we have been forgiven.

Second, forgiving is not the same as forgetting.  We don’t need to forget what others have done to us in order to forgive them.  Rather, we need to let go of any thoughts of revenge or punishing those who have hurt us.  If we want to punish others, we only succeed in hurting ourselves.  Bitterness is the poison we swallow in hopes of hurting the one who hurt us.  Lack of forgiveness blocks healing.

If forgiving others still feels impossible, then we need to have a good, long conversation with Jesus.  Tell Him exactly what happened in detail.  Then we need to listen to what Jesus has to say.  He has a healing word for us.  We only need to listen.  Remember, He said, “the sheep listen to His voice.  He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out.” (John 10:3)

If, after a long talk with Jesus, you still feel weighed down with bitterness and don’t feel able to forgive, know this:  You really can’t forgive on your own power.  It’s okay.  God understands.  Now don’t’ hear me say that you don’t need to forgive.  Rather, you need God’s power to forgive!  Ask God to give you the power to forgive.  Then watch for His divine power to work and receive the ability to forgive from Him as a gift.  God will forgive through you and in you.  Allow His forgiveness to flow through you.  After receiving His forgiveness, give it away.  We don’t deserve to be forgiven, it is a gift.  Those who hurt us don’t deserve to be forgiven.  Forgiveness is about grace; we neither earn nor deserve it.  We receive forgiveness from God and give it to others.  Life in God’s kingdom requires forgiveness.  Nice side benefit:  when you truly forgive you actually begin to forget!

Finding the grace to forgive,

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


84 Anger

Secret number 16 to finding humility is learning to let go of anger.

Stop your anger!  Turn from your rage!  Psalm 37:8 NLT

A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.  Proverbs 29:11 NIV

I have changed my ideas about anger a few times over the years.  At one time I thought anger was an evil to be avoided.  Later, I realized that I really could not avoid encountering anger at times.  I even went to the point of embracing anger as a friend.  I thought it could be used as a way to overcome shame.  Yet, all the anger I have felt over the years has not taken away my shame.  Anger signals a problem but, in and of itself, does not solve the problem.

We need to understand why we are angry and deal with the issue.  Then we need to let go of the anger itself.  An analogy from fishing is catch and release.  We need to catch our anger—realize we are feeling it and find from whence it comes.  We may need to do something in response.  The anger can give us emotional impetus to do that, but then we need to let go of anger.  Holding on to anger harms us and those in our lives.

In our perfectionism we vacillate from squelching our hearts with shame to giving free vent to our anger which can result in shaming others.  We need to learn how to put our hearts on a “dog leash” or, in the case of our home, a “cat leash”.  We need to actually feel what our hearts feel while also learning to respond appropriately.  Shaming ourselves for feeling only squelches the feelings, intensifies them and prolongs them.  At the same time, these intense feelings do not give us permission to do whatever we feel like doing.

Our Example, Jesus knew beforehand that Judas would betray Him and was in anguish about it. (John 13:21)  Since Jesus experienced intense emotions, we will, as well.  Experiencing intense emotion does not mean we are not spiritual.  We have emotions.  How we respond to our emotions is what matters.  The way of humility involves letting go of the intensity of our emotions rather than holding on to this intensity.  Holding on to this swirl can lead to bitterness, selfishness, strife, etc.  Emotions take time to wind down.  Jesus, in dialoging with others and taking His strong emotions to His Father is our example in dealing with our own strong emotions.  We need to let hope replace anger as we learn to let go.  Learning is a process and takes time.

As we learn to let go of the past and look forward to the future we will realize that our past need not tie us down; our future can look very different from our prior experiences.  We need to trust God and believe in Him.  Our future is full of hope, bright and beautiful.  God is a Way-Maker and will make a way for us.

Trusting Him and holding on with a mustard seed of faith,

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

Sermon related to anger:    http://www.vineyardop.org/resources/multimedia/details/?id=244823


83 Yield an Argument

Secret number 15 to finding humility is to yield an argument.

I do nothing on My own, but speak just what the Father has taught Me…I always do what pleases Him.  John 8:28-29

We think we know the right way to do things.  When others ask us to do something their way, we balk.  We don’t want to do it a different way.  We resist because we have developed a system of rules for how to cope with life.  Anybody who requests us to do something that violates one of these rules is obviously wrong, mistaken and inadequate.  We have become accustomed to others yielding to us.  Thinking they should yield to us shows us our pride.  We think we know better than others.  When we encounter those who will not yield, we judge them as foolish for not seeing our wisdom.

At these times, we need to remember Jesus words in Matthew 7:3-5, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

Our perfectionism can clash with others’ perfectionism.  When we argue about what is right and correct, our rules can conflict other people’s rules.  At these times, we can apply this secret and yield the point.  Before a question becomes an argument, we can learn to yield.  We humble ourselves in this way.  We learn not to insist on our own way.

We ask, “But what if this point is important?”  Does it really matter?  Will anyone die as a result?  Really?  We need humility to acknowledge our rules are flawed.  We tend to go to the worst-case scenario and imagine terrible consequences if they are not followed.

An example of needing humility is as follows:  If one believes that buying generic products whenever possible is what everyone should do, maybe making exceptions when the name brand is only a few cents more than the generic or there is a significant quality difference, then there is an opportunity for humbling oneself.  Once upon a time, I made myself buy a certain type of apple even though I did not like them because they were the cheapest apple available.  I learned not to buy apples because I did not like that brand of apple!  Years later, I got married and Marguex picked out “expensive” apples.  I was shocked!  What?!  This other type of apple is so much cheaper!  This was a lesson I finally got; these apples were cheaper because people did not like their taste.

Asking forgiveness for argumentativeness,

Noah Woodrich (& Marguex, too)

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


82 Advice

Secret number 14 to finding humility relates to giving and receiving advice.

Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.    James 1:19

We have clear ideas about what we like and what we hate.  Giving advice comes naturally; receiving it…can be painful and disheartening.  We have many ideas and need to learn not to be arrogant about them.  Thinking we know so much and that we could benefit many people with the insights we have may cause us to lose opportunities to learn.  We need to receive advice, not just give it.

In our pride, we think we have all the answers.  We have some answers, but we do not have the capacity to solve others’ problems.  We do well to listen and offer some ideas as long as we can offer and share them without any expectation of them using the ideas we give.  Others need to struggle through to find answers to their problems.  Even if the answer seems glaringly and painfully obvious to us, we need to give them space to struggle through to their resolution with God.  Offering our ideas to others not expecting them to use the ideas, makes us safe people for them.

Alternatively, we need to be open to receive others’ advice.  While, it is true that others cannot solve our problems, it is also true that others have useful and beneficial insights from which we can learn.  Moreover, we can hold loosely advice that others give to us; consider what they say without immediately dismissing or embracing it.  Remember, we are a fragrant aroma (II Corinthians 2:15).  It does not matter what others think of us.  We can care for each other while not caring about what others think about us.

The process of holding loosely involves a level of flexibility.  As we consider what others tell us, we need to keep in mind that we do not have to do things a certain way.  Part of perfectionism is being set in a certain way of thinking, holding a rigid adherence to a set of self-made rules.  If what someone tells us goes against our rules, we dismiss it.  Yet the rules we have could be wrong.

One rule has served me well over the years:  always check what price rings up at the cash register.  During the early years of our marriage, our grocery store would give the item free if it rang up with a price different from the shelf price because they were so confident that their system was accurate.  I did not share their confidence in their system.  We received many free things at this grocery store for a few years.  Once, we got a free cooler.

Regardless of all the free things we got, I learned to let go of the rule of checking each item.  It became a burden and stressed my relationship with my wife.  Sometimes we were in a hurry to get somewhere, yet I would still take the time to check the receipt [Marguex, upon editing, “Argh!!!!!”].  Even if we saw at the register something ringing up incorrectly, pointing that out would take time because someone would have to verify the correct price.  I still remember a 5-quart container of ice cream for which we were overcharged.  I decided to let it go in order to give us more time [Marguex is asking, “Is this the letting go of which you speak?  Ice cream?  5-quart? Really?!”]

My point is learning flexibility.  We can benefit if we sometimes let go of the rules and try something new.  That is the essence of receiving advice.

Learning flexibility with humor,

Noah Woodrich and Marguex (who puts her name here only under duress : )

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


81 Seeking to Understand

Secret number 13 to finding humility is seeking to understand rather than to be understood.

FYI, the numbers on these secrets are arbitrary.  They are not in order of importance, although I see the first two, weakness and worship, as especially key.  I have sought to put them in some kind of order as far as how they relate to one another, such as putting thankfulness after receiving gifts.  I hope this is sheds some light and is “understandable”.  :)

Before his downfall a man’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.  He who answers before listening—that is his folly and his shame.  Proverbs 18:12-13

We like feeling understood.  That is understandable.  We also have ideas that need to be heard by others and they have ideas we need to hear.  Our tendency, however, is first to seek to be heard and wait to hear others until later.  Let’s consider reversing that order—listen first and understand before seeking to be understood.  To so do on a consistent basis is humbling.  We know that our ideas are good.  Let us humble ourselves and consider others’ ideas just as important as our own.

Some of you may find it odd that I would even be saying this, “Of course other people’s ideas are as valid as my own!”  Let me tell you, part of me really believes I have the best ideas around.  Yes, that is grandiose and self-idealistic to think that God has bestowed on me, Phil Sigafus an extra special amount of wisdom and insight.  I hate even to admit it, yet I need to follow my own advice and confess (see the earlier humbling technique—confession).  I confess that I am proud.  God, please have mercy on me, a sinner!

So what do you think?  Now search your heart.  Do you secretly think that you have all the answers?  Do you wish that people would be silent, sit at your feet in wonderment and awe and just listen to you?  If they did and followed your sage advice, they would have better lives.  In fact, the whole world would be a better place if you were in charge, right?

Not to diminish what you know.  You do have a lot of good ideas.  Just remember, other people have good ideas, too.

I have a tendency to think very highly of myself.  I see that as I write these blogs.  Again, I recommend that you hold what I am saying loosely.  Allow God to speak to your heart.

From someone with a lot to say, and learning not to be proud of it,

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


80 Receiving Compliments

Secret number 12 to finding humility is receiving compliments.  We learned not to boast.  Refraining from praising self, nurtures humility.  Receiving compliments also requires humility.

Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips.  Proverbs 27:2

We know that arrogance is wrong.  The Bible says a lot about it.  We do not want to appear arrogant.  So we push away compliments.  We confuse eschewing compliments with humility.

When we receive compliments, we humbly admit that we want them.  We need to build one another up in faith.  Others’ regard helps us know that we are doing well and others appreciate our contributions.  Compliments connect us with each other.  None of us can live life alone.  Solitary living increases perfectionism.  We need feedback.

We resist compliments because of shame.  Shame says that we do not deserve compliments.  Also, someone who compliments us today may insult us tomorrow.  We need to press through this shame and the fear that accompanies it.  Receiving compliments gives us the opportunity to let go of our shame, to let go of the fear.  We humble ourselves as we let go and acknowledge our need for connection with others by receiving their accolades.

People see things about us, which we cannot see in ourselves.  Hearing what they have to say gives us a new perspective.  We may not even realize what we say or do may be noticed let alone appreciated.  Praise from others gives us that awareness.

Receiving compliments also opens us to influence from others.  We might push away praise because we do not want to be vulnerable.  God can employ others to speak into our lives.  When we open ourselves to others, we open ourselves to God.  Because we need godly influences in our lives, we need to be with other believers.  To the point, God can utilize even non-believers to speak truth into our lives.

We apply discernment to the compliments we receive.  We may fear others will control us with praise.  After all, we know people who have used compliments to attempt to get us to do something we were not willing to do.  Yet, letting fear control us cuts us off from life with God.  This need not be.  When others try to use us, we need to put our trust in God.  He will deliver us and show us the way.

You may have no trouble receiving compliments.  You want to hear some.  Give some away and you may find some coming back to you.

Our ultimate approval comes from the Lord.  “My reward is with Me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done.” (Revelation 22:12)  Receiving and giving compliments together with others opens a space within our hearts to receive His praise.

Expecting some awesome feedback,

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


79 Thankfulness

Secret number 11 to finding humility is thankfulness.

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  I Thessalonians 5:16-18

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7

The Lord tells us, “give thanks in all circumstances” and “with thanksgiving, present our requests to God”.  We readily thank God when we receive what we want.  We need to thank Him in all circumstances including times when we don’t receive what we want.  In giving thanks we humble ourselves and acknowledge God as the Giver of all good things (James 1:17).

Giving thanks when we don’t feel thankful may feel difficult or impossible.  Giving thanks when we feel disappointed is a sacrifice of praise.  When the enemy accuses God to us, we feel angry at Him and giving thanks becomes next to impossible.  Instead of giving thanks we want rebel against Him.  Our flesh rears its ugly head and insists on getting its own way.  It demands what it wants when it wants it regardless of what God says, tempting us strongly when we feel dissatisfied.  We may seek to please ourselves and rationalize our behavior.

We need to remember to listen to what is God saying to us in our times of disappointment.  He is not silent.  The Bible has many things to say regarding disappointment with God.  We need to listen for His specific messages to us.  We can begin by telling God we are angry or disappointed with Him.  Initially, this may seem to contradict being thankful.  We aim for thankfulness, starting where we are.  This is a confession.  Besides, God already knows what we are feeling and thinking (Ps. 139:1-4).  We need to read a Psalm to God to tell Him those thoughts and feelings.  Some ideas are:  Ps. 55, if betrayed by a friend, 64 when feeling threatened, 69 if feeling overwhelmed, intense emotion or humiliated, 70 if needing help (quickly), 77 if God seems absent, crying out for long time with no answer or lacking sleep or joy, 88 if life is full of troubles, poor health or abandoned by friends & family, 91 if feel unprotected, 102 if physical distress or illness, 109 if slandered, accused or condemned, 130 if in despair or guilty, 141 if feeling tempted.

It is important that we pour out our complaints to God in order to become thankful.  Even if our circumstances do not change, God is deserving of our thanks and praise.  While trying to ignore or forget our troubles can actually make them worse, giving our negative emotions to Jesus in surrender to God aids in becoming thankful.  As we pour out our complaint, we tend to think of things for which we are thankful.  God will remind us.  Consider, even when we don’t feel loved, God still loves us.  In this we can be thankful.  Thanking Him allows us to feel loved by Him.

Let’s thank God for at least five things every day for 30 days and see how our joy increases.

Thanking God for all of you,

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


77 Asking For Help

The ninth secret to finding humility is asking for help.

March 28, 2013 was a day to remember.  I took our scooter out for a ride.  I hadn’t ridden it for a month or so and had some trouble starting it, but eventually got it going.  While I was out, I figured I could drop off a couple of bills at the post office.  I put the envelopes inside the seat compartment.  This necessitated that I turn the scooter off in order to retrieve them.  After I deposited the bills in the mailbox I tried to start the scooter again with no success.  Initially, it turned over, but eventually stopped and wouldn’t even turn over.  I guessed it was a combination of low battery and problem with the starter.

I decided to push it home where we had a battery charger.  It was a beautiful day, in sharp contrast to the previous week which was snowy and cold.  The ground was fairly level for a long way (for those familiar with Kansas City, I was on the Kansas side).  As I crossed the state line I was dreading the thought of pushing it up larger hills on the Missouri side.  I made it quite a way up the first hill and, out of desperation, tried to start it again.  The engine turned over a couple of times, and then stopped.  I noticed that my wife had called.  I called her back and we prayed it would start.  Still no go.  I tried the trick of starting it by going downhill.  That did not work.  I was talking to my wife again, letting her know what was happening.  She told me later she was crying out to God for me at this point when someone came walking towards me holding a gas can.  I told him that it was a problem with the starter.  He offered to jump-start it.  I told him that I didn’t think it would work.  I set my mind on pushing it home even though I was very tired.  My wife was listening to this whole conversation.  She told me that she and our neighbors had prayed that someone would help me.  She reminded me of the person on the roof of a house in a flood who told the rescue boat that God was going to take care of him.

I pushed my scooter into the man’s driveway.  He had jumper cables, and we connected the batteries.  The scooter started right away!

“Ask, and it will be given to you….”  Matthew 7:7

Do you often refuse help, like I was doing?  In my perfectionism I was too proud to accept help, thought I could do it myself without any help and thought that if I needed help I would be displaying weakness.  We want to think we have it all together and are not needy.  “No thanks,” we say, “I can handle it.”  Except, the fact is, everyone needs to ask and receive help.  We are broken creatures, even though we don’t want to admit it.  We do need help.  We need God’s help.  He often sends help by way of people.

Learning to humble myself (which is better than the alternative),

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


76 Pain

The eighth secret to finding humility is Pain!

God is refining my thoughts about finding humility.  We cannot make ourselves humble, but we can humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand.  We cannot achieve a state of humility on our own, but we can place ourselves, with an attitude of humility, under His care and control.  We confess our sins.  We worship God and praise others instead of boasting.  We claim responsibility for our own mistakes.  We listen to God and obey what we learn from Him.  Of course, our obedience will not be perfect.  To be perfect is not our focus, listening moment by moment to what Jesus teaches us and learning to obey Him is.  Then we become disciplined in this practice just as we do when we practice tennis, typing, a new language or an instrument.

Pain, weakness and overlooking offenses are tools that God uses to work the discipline of humility in us.  We need to change our minds about them.  Our tendency is to avoid dealing with pain, weakness and offenses.  However, when we are in pain we can practice humility and crying out to God.

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons.  For what son is not disciplined by his father?…Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it.  How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live!…No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.  Hebrews 12:7, 9, 11

Pain can drive us crazy.  We hate pain.  We try to avoid it, but it keeps coming back.  We do many things to get free from pain; such as taking drugs or alcohol.  In perfectionism we attempt to overcome pain or else try to ignore it.  Yet, if we are honest, we have to admit we feel pain.  Really, though, pain helps us realize we need to make changes, that we need God to make these changes.  If we do not go to God with our pain, we will not be able to find freedom from it.  We may find temporary freedom, but not lasting freedom for which our hearts yearn.

Pain reminds us of how weak we are.  In our pride we resist humbling ourselves even under the onslaught of pain.  We need to let go of pride and cry out to God in the midst of pain.  “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles.” (Psalm 34:17)  In crying out to God, we open our hearts to Him.  We need to seek His face and submit to His will for us, trusting Him with our circumstances.  He promises His comfort.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, Who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.  II Corinthians 1:3-5

Passing on the comfort with which I’ve been comforted,

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

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


75 Overlooking Offenses

The seventh secret to finding humility is: Overlooking offenses.

A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11

Pride comes from shame. Shame affects how we view peoples’ behavior towards us. Pride makes us overly sensitive to offenses. When we are in our pride and shame we most often attribute negative motives to others and judge them. We want to correct those who have offended us and we feel impatient with them. However, we are the ones who need correcting when we judge others. We need to get the logs out before we attempt to correct anyone else. (Matthew 7:3-5)
Our own shame leads us to interpret others as being offensive. Shame comes from storehouses of memories in our hearts. These memories can trigger us by reminding us of times during which we felt shame. We do not need to consciously remember what happened in the past to feel shame in the present. Just knowing where shame came from can help us let go of it. The bad news is, we cannot free ourselves from shame. The good news is, by God’s grace and through humility, we can let go of shame.

The book Humility by Andrew Murray has given me powerful ideas. He says that we cannot make ourselves humble.  We cannot use these “secrets” of humility to make ourselves humble.  Rather, we allow them to highlight the ways in which we are not humble.  God alone works true humility in us.  “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom…But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of [rightness]” (James 3:13, 17-18)

When we realize that we have taken an offense we confess this to God, ask Him to free us and then ask Him to work His humility in us. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all [unrightness].” (I John 1:9)

Even if someone intentionally offends us, we do well to overlook it.  When we believe their view of us is less than what we think we deserve we try to improve how we look to them.  Catering to others’ opinions only has the opposite effect, however, and leads to a lower opinion of us in their eyes.  And when we feel offended, we tend to be offending towards others.  We become like Jesus when we remain silent in the face of unjust accusations.  We can choose, through His power, to overlook an offense. (Matthew 26:59-63)

Hoping I didn’t offend anyone by this post,

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

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74 Responsibility

The sixth secret to humility is taking reasonable responsibility.

Looking down on others lifts us up and gives us a false sense of self-esteem and security.  We try to define ourselves by our successes and not our failures.  We long to feel good about self and seek to maintain this positive view of self.  Yet, in seeking to maintain this positive view, we minimize our mistakes while maximizing our accomplishments.

When we humble ourselves and take responsibility for mistakes, we go against our shame and pride.  We need to keep in mind that God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble. (James 4:6)  In our natural selves, we want to take credit for the things we do.  Yet, “all that we have accomplished [God has] done for us.” (Isaiah 26:12)  The flip side of this is not taking responsibility for the offense.  We need to resist this bent.

In our perfectionism, there is also the risk of going to the opposite extreme; that is, we become overly responsible.  Over-responsibility also flows from our pride.  We over-estimate our capabilities and think we should have known better if anything bad happens.  We expect ourselves to avoid all problems.

We need to find the balance between these two extremes.  We need to acknowledge when we have been wrong without being grandiose about what we could have done differently.  Safe people help us in this process.  We need feedback about our behavior from others.

 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”  Matthew 7:3-5

Safe people have taken the logs out of their own eyes.  They gently help remove others’ specks.  They let us know the logs in our own eyes.  We have much to learn from them.  Eventually, as we learn to let go of our perfectionism and find true humility, we become safe people.  Humility will come when we find our identity in Christ and put to death what is not of Him, because our true life is in Him. (Gal. 2:20 & John 14:6)  Truly, finding our identity from our successes can only lead us away from Christ.

My protection and success come from God alone.  Psalm 62: 7 TLB

Letting go of my earthly identity,

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


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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72 Confession

The fourth secret to finding humility is confession.

Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.  James 5:16

Confession is humbling, especially for those of us who deal with perfectionism.  That’s why we hate the thought of it so much.  We don’t want to admit to ourselves that we have made a mistake, much less anyone else.  Confessing sin stretches our faith and powerfully opens our hearts to God through humility.  We need to humble ourselves in confession.  (James 4:8-10)

What do we need to confess?  We can confess anything which holds us in guilt—big things, little things, old or new.  Whatever may come to mind right now may be a subject matter for confession.  Confession gives us the opportunity to let go of a burden.  Even the seemingly most insignificant thing would be worth confessing if it would rid us of guilt.

But, what if we are not sure that what we did or thought really was sin?  We find that out in the process.  When we confess to God or one of His children, we can get valuable feedback.  This will clarify if what we did is truly wrong and we can get wisdom on how to reconcile or make restitution.  In addition, the one to whom we confess can declare us forgiven and thereby thwart the enemy’s attempts to condemn us later for a matter that has already been resolved.  What we did may not be wrong in a general sense but something about how we went about it at the time may have hurt someone in the process.  Even if not totally at fault, we can still offer a confession for our part, even if we only had 1% of the responsibility.

As I have stated before, we need safe people to whom we do the process of confession.  Safe people speak the truth in love and mercy.  If a person we know says that nothing we do is wrong or that we don’t need to confess, they are not speaking truth.  If people react to our confession with shame and condemnation, they do not love nor can they give us the mercy needed to walk out our process of restoration with God.  There are people who speak truth in love.  We need to spend time with believers.  We can begin this process of confession by risking something small in order to learn if a person is safe or not.  This assumes we know the person; we don’t divulge our life story on the first meeting.  Trust takes time to develop.

At some point, however, we need to take the leap and just do it, just confess and do it quickly.  In our perfectionism, we procrastinate.  We put off anything we don’t like.  We need to push through our resistance.  We need to put to death our pride.  Confession helps us with this.  Yes, it is humbling.  This is good.  Pushing through the fear of being humiliated in order to make a confession rewards us with freedom and true humility.  We feel much better afterwards.

Experiencing His grace through confession,

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


70 Worship

So far we have seen that weakness is a secret to humility.  This is just a beginning; there will be more to come!  For now, let’s focus on worship as a secret.

“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they were created and have their being.”  Rev. 4:11

“Who will not fear You, O Lord, and bring glory to Your name?  For You alone are holy.  All nations will come and worship before You, for Your righteous acts have been revealed.”  Revelation 15:4

 Since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us…worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.” Heb. 12:28-29

Through Jesus…let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess His name.  Hebrews 13:15

We find freedom in worship.  When we are worshiping God, we feel joy and peace; our problems fall away; we don’t care about the next bill coming due; we are not filled with fear for the future.  Worship releases us from this world.

Sure, there are plenty of self-interested reasons to worship, but the bottom line best reason to worship God is because He deserves to be worshiped!

“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power.” (Rev. 4:11)  We were created to worship God.  More than that, our purpose for living is to worship Him.  We belong to God, twice His:  1) He created us.  2) He redeemed us with Jesus’ precious blood.

In Jeremiah 15:21, He says that He will save us from the open, empty paw of the wicked.  He will save us from any evil, adversity, affliction, any badness, calamity, displeasure or distress from man or things.  We will be kept from exceedingly great and grievous harm, heaviness and hurt and from ill favor.  We will not be marked by mischief or misery, naughtiness or noisome conditions.  We will be kept from sadness, soreness, sorrow, trouble, vexation, wretchedness and wrong.  He will keep us from wickedness, the wickedly, the wicked one and the worst that could happen.  He will release, preserve, deliver by any means possible ransom, redeem and surely rescue us from the grasp of the terrible and mighty oppressor (our enemy and accuser).*  Jesus is Lord of Lords and King of Kings.  He requires our worship.  Moreover, His redeeming us makes our hearts sing!  Let’s honor His request and worship God, and serve Him only. (Matt 4:10)

We find true humility in worship.  Our natural state is pride.  The Israelites, like us, deluded themselves into thinking they had acquired the Promised Land themselves, without God’s assistance.  God had warned them against pride. (Deut. 8:10-18)  We need to let go of pride and embrace humility, humbling ourselves under God’s mighty hand so He will lift us up in the opportune or proper time. (I Pet 5:6)

Worshiping the King,

Noah and Marguex 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


69 Weakness

“Humility is honesty in action.”*  If we are honest with ourselves, then we would admit we are weak.  It is in weakness we find true humility.  We cannot make ourselves humble, but we can receive humility as a gift from the hand of God.

To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  II Corinthians 12:7-9

When we cry out to God, we humble ourselves before Him and He will meet us (Luke 18:1-8).  God may allow outrageous things in our lives to bring us to a place of crying out to Him.  In our pride we resist this process.  We need to let go of resistance toward God and instead submit ourselves to the Lord.  “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.

“Be self controlled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.  And the God of all grace, Who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” (I Peter 5:6-10, emphasis mine)

We need to choose to humble ourselves, in order to put our resistance in the right place, toward the enemy of our souls.  We are unable to carry out the choice to humble ourselves without the Lord’s assistance.  The Lord brings truth to our minds—the truth of how weak we are.  When we own our weakness, we move toward humility.  Owning our weakness involves letting go of our pride which is the primary barrier to our humbling ourselves.  Obvious, I know, but worth saying (My wife often calls me “Obvious Man”—without the cape, of course).

The pride comes from our old self, our flesh.  Humility comes from our new self in Christ.  Christ was humble, and we learn humility from Him.  “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)

Weak and finding His strength,

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.

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*Francis Frangipane 7-21-13 at River of Life Church, Cedar Rapids, IA.


68 Humility II

I have much more to say on humility and consider it such an important topic that I decided to write a second blog on it.

So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men.  I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full….But when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men.  I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full….When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting.  I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.  Matthew 6:2, 6 & 16

Humility includes being selfless and not looking for an earthly reward.  By seeking earthly rewards we strive to build ourselves up, promoting our positions and interests, looking for our agenda to be done.  True servanthood looks for God’s will to be done.  Even Jesus prayed, “Yet not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39)

Of course we are selfish by nature.  That’s a part of being human!  And expecting ourselves to rid ourselves of selfishness is perfectionistic!  We are not able to make ourselves humble any more than we are able to make ourselves perfect.  If we were able to make ourselves humble, then we would really have something to brag about!  Rather, in placing ourselves under God’s mighty hand we allow Him to humble us.  Hear me out on this.  I know that I Peter 5:6 says, “Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God,” but God’s humbling of us is a process.  First, we need to realize how truly proud we are.  Our perfectionism belies our pride.  This is much easier for others to see about us than it is for us to see about ourselves.

The next thing we need to do is to let go of our pride.  We don’t want to.  We want to hold on to it for dear life, as if it is who we are.  Know this, our true self is in Christ.  Our identity is not found in our pride, but rather in Christ.  Only God gets to define us, to decide who we are.  In our pride we try to define ourselves as better than others, more deserving, better at following Christ, super-spiritual, etc.  We do so because we are still trying to prove ourselves worthy and this we can never do.  Our righteousness is in the blood of Jesus Christ, alone.  That is what the stories in the Bible are telling us.  God gets the glory, we are the goofs.  As long as we try to make ourselves right, we reject the blood of Jesus.  Jesus died so that we could be right, pure and holy—before the Father.  When God our Father looks at us, He sees us through the blood of Jesus. (II Corinthians 2:14-15, Ephesians 1:7)  We, however, try to improve on that image even.  There is no improving on the blood of Christ.  We need to imitate Him and that imitation is based in humility rather than pride.  We do not make ourselves brothers of Jesus; rather, we receive our new identity of being His brothers as a gift from God.

Humility is powerful.  When we are truly humble, we are equipped to resist the devil.  (I Peter 5:6-9)  Finally, we need humility not only to be able to rebuke the enemy, but more than that to receive God’s love, to draw near to Him.

Being humbled,

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

*From William Barclay, New Testament Words, p. 53.  The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, copyright 1964