Friday, December 22, 2006

Receiving Humility

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

It seems to be the case that in order to really seek and receive God's word, there needs to be fervent pursuit of "the grace of humility." First, we must seek it and then receive it. "God will gladly give it to us if, trusting and waiting on Him to act, we refrain from

* pretending we are what we know we are not;
* presuming a favorable position for ourselves in any respect;
* pushing or trying to override the will of others in our context.

This is a fail-safe recipe for humility. Never push, never presume, never pretend." -D.W.


Quentin Mullinix said...

When I ponder over the idea of pushing or trying to override the will of others in our context, I realize that this applys to even “the really important things” in life. While we are to hold each other accountable to a life of godliness (especially if an accountability-type of relationship has not been previously established), we are not to violate another person’s will! Spuring one another involves a love that is encouraging and edifying—not badgering someone to the point of tears. When Jesus dealt with the twelve disciples and beyond, he never brought anyone to tears. We live in a world today that is poised to withdraw and assault one another out of fear. Let us give up this judgement of others! Build each other up, and then in faith patiently wait and allow the Holy Spirit to do the rest.

John Lynch said...

I often "push" for the "important things", just like you describe Quentin. My passion for God's realized plan easily becomes something of a personal ambition... a pushing.

This is so practical for me, especially now - as Aleta & I prepare for our transition into the Arizona context we believe God is leading us to. I want to organize, motivate, push... But God is pressing that door closed on me evermore. I see where that leads & it's a place I can't go anymore.

I am learning to become aggressively passive. That is, I'm learning to aggressively love & be present while passively waiting for Spirit-led opportune moments. And it's all very connected to pride vs. humility in my heart.

Thanks for your sharp aim in this post, brother. It's timely.

John Lynch said...

More on this... (you've got me thinking)...

I "push" (try to motivate) because it seems so few Christ-followers are actually motivated to really 1) seek to grow more fully surrendered in the Lord 2) seek to build community among the saints & 3) seek to build redeeming community among the lost.

If I might vent a bit here... I'm weary of the pride that marks postmodern rebellion against the institution & I'm desperate for a humility to grow within our generation that will motivate revolutionaries to pursue each other in loving, partnering, self-deferring relationships. Where are the loving, partnering, self-deferring relationships necessary to form a legit. Acts 2 community?

So my questions are... When does exhortation become pushing & what will it take to humble the emerging generation of revolutionaries?

Quentin Mullinix said...

I am by no means an expert on exhortation. However, I believe that if we as Christians strive to prayerfully and thoughtfully meditate upon the definition of love as described in 1 Corinthians 13 and then think about how that contrasts to the definition of manipulation and the like--that would be a great place to start. Again, Jesus served as the great example as did Paul. Paul said things like, "I urge you, therefore..I emplore an imitator of me for I am an imatator of Christ," but nothing like, "Hey, suck it up and just do it!" We need to think carefully about how we motivate others and if we are starting to cross the line into attempting to control others. God will not violate people's will and neither should we.