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

99 Prayer

I confess it, I am proud. Moreover, I am proud of being proud. As bad as pride is, I find myself unwilling to let go of it. I want to be proud. I am incredibly self-idealistic and grandiose. I have the answers to life’s struggles; if only people would listen to me, I could solve their problems, or so I think. Yes, this is incorrect. In reality I am not able to heal myself, much less help others.

I sought God about my resistance to humbling myself and about how proud I am. I asked for several months, “How do I humble myself? I don’t want to!” I got the impression that I was to pray that He would help me to humble myself. I need to humble myself to even be able to ask God to help me humble myself.

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16

I started with a simple prayer, “God help me to humble myself.” I found this was not quite enough. I needed to cry out to Him. I realized that I was weak and unable to humble myself and cried out from the depths of my heart, “God have mercy on me a sinner! I am so proud, please forgive me! Help me to humble myself, Lord! I can’t do this on my own. I need your help. HELP!!!”

The idea I want to convey is that we need to pray from our hearts. How do we feel when we are unable to humble ourselves? What do we hear from God about our inability to humble ourselves and our lack of humility? Psalm 139 could be a starting place to look for insight on this. This powerful Psalm taught me how to pray for myself.

Jesus told His disciples…that they should always pray and not give up.Luke 18:1

We need to keep praying, especially if we see no ready answers because we will not totally be free until Heaven. Our pride separates us from God. We need to pray for the rest of our lives for humility. We will see progress. We will find our pride diminishing. We need to humble ourselves before Him in order to receive His mercy. Thank God, His grace enables us to come to Him!

The Lord taught us to pray, “Forgive us our sin”, because we constantly need forgiveness. Also, He said, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”, we need to be delivered from the temptation to pride. We have made pride and perfectionism into habits. We need to break those habits. We can only do so with God’s power.

“Because he loves Me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.” Psalm 91:14-15

Psalm 91 is such a powerful passage! It tells of God’s wonderful promises to protect and deliver.

Dwelling under the shelter of the Most High,

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, fasting 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, Fasting, 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