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.

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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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.

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.

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

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


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


25 Self-Idealism

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable:  “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.  The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men – robbers, evil-doers, adulterers – or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’  But the tax collector stood at a distance.  He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’  I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God.  For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”  Luke 18:9-14

In our pride we think highly of ourselves.  We consider ourselves capable of great feats.  We can even develop a superman complex and be in awe of ourselves.  We relate to Peter Pan when he says, “Oh, the wonder of me!”  If not checked we revel in our self-idealism.  Self-idealism is idolatrous, narcissistic and grandiose.  Self-idealism feeds on perfectionism and, in turn, perfectionism feeds on self-idealism.

When we believe the lies perfectionism espouses, we open ourselves to idealizing self.  In order to maintain our perfectionism, we need to believe ourselves to be superhuman.  We deceive ourselves into believing we are way more capable than we really are.  Humility requires an accurate appraisal of oneself.

What are some reveries we have about ourselves?  Ones where we think we have the right idea for ourselves and for others.  “Why don’t they just do the right thing?” we ask, “Can’t they see that speck in their eye?!  Oh, yes, they might not be able to see it for the log in my eye that is in the way.”  Let’s remove the log so we might see clearly and help each other with the specks. (Matthew 7:5)

I wonder if we realize how much perfectionism affects us on a daily basis.  Perfectionism involves denial.  We need to let go of our denial.  Owning our self-idealism helps us let go of it.

I confess my self-idealism.  I have been aware of it for many years, yet I still hold on to it.  I need to follow my own advice.  God, have mercy on me, a sinner!

Choosing to own and let go,

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.  Prayers needed.

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/

PS  In case you cannot relate to the above, either you do not have self-idealism or perhaps you are in profound denial (?).  Okay, seriously now, open your heart and listen to God.  Is the Spirit pointing out any self-idealism?  If not, please pray for us who struggle with it.  Thank you!


24 Pride

Last post showed how the performance trap feeds our pride.  We tend to think more highly of ourselves than we ought.  In humility, we need to consider others better than ourselves (Philippians 2:3).  We have inflated egos.  We think we are capable of great feats.  We are capable of many things.  God’s works are wonderful.  We are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).  We are created in His image (Genesis 1:27).  In addition, we are able to learn and adapt in our circumstances.  Furthermore, we experience mastery over many of the issues of life.  The fact that you can read this sentence and understand it shows your ability to learn and think.

However, our abilities have limitations.  We are finite creatures.  We do not like to admit our limitations.  We prefer to think of what we can do rather than what we cannot do.  We feel a need to prove ourselves, then, because we are fighting our shame.  We do not like feelings of shame.  Shame feels shaming.  It is painful.  We strive to get rid of these negative feelings.  We use pride to battle shame.

Pride, however, is the flip side of shame.  Shame says we are dreadful.  Pride says we are superior.  In reality, the coin has no power to define us.  We are sinners saved by grace.  We are now saints, but this is God’s work in us, not our own doing (Philippians 2:13).

God warns us against pride:

[The Lord] mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble.  Proverbs 3:34

God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.   James 4:6, I Peter 5:5

Humility differs greatly from shame.  Shame says we are awful.  Humility says we are human like everyone else; that is, we sin and make mistakes.  Shame wallows in how poorly we have treated others.  Humility acknowledges the ways we have hurt others and repents of those things.  Shame rejects grace as too kind, too considerate.  Humility accepts grace as a gift.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand that He may lift you up in due time.  I Peter 5:6 (also James 4:10)

Letting go of pride and shame; learning to embrace humility,

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.  Prayers needed.

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/


23 Performance Trap

“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them.  If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in Heaven.”  Matthew 6:1

Rules flow out of fear.  The rules may issue out of fears, such as:  fear of failure, fear of being punished or even out of fear of losing praise.  By our rules we try to avoid bad things.  By our good performance we try to create good things.  We think that if we do the right thing at the right time, good will result.  We seek to obey all the rules and do all the right things.  Sometimes this even works!

Positive results reinforce our performance and striving behavior.  If we crave praise and diligently seek it, we find ourselves in The Performance Trap.

Jesus calls us to obey Him rather than our man made rules.  Valuing what people say about us more than what God says about us makes an idol out of human praise.  You may think receiving praise is harmless, but consider how you allow it to control you.  What are some things you have done today solely because someone else thought you should do it rather than doing it because it was on your task list for the day?  Do you run after praise?

You may be thinking, “But, I’m supposed to try to please others.”  Why?  Who says?  What will happen if you don’t?  Are you obeying Jesus in your people-pleasing behavior?  “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” (Proverbs 29:25)

Where is your emotional investment, earthly treasure or heavenly treasure?  I am speaking of praise as a type of treasure.  “’Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’” (Matthew 6:19-21)

Let go of performing for others.  What is God saying to you about your motivations?  Choose to live for Him and His glory rather than for your own glory.

Learning to live for the Master,

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.  Prayers needed.

Outline:  https://livingwithperfectionism.wordpress.com/