The Pathway to Humility
Working here at KCWN I get to listen to a lot of radio! Earlier this year someone on one of our preaching/teaching programs said, “Inside the heart of every man is a little boy longing for affirmation.” That statement resonated deeply; I think much of my life has been one giant quest for affirmation in hopes of finally quieting that little voice that sometimes still whispers “You’ll never be good enough.”
I don’t think the desire for affirmation is in itself bad - but can it be twisted by the enemy into something sinful? The answer to that - absolutely! The line between praise and pride can be very thin indeed; I know just recently in my own life that desire to be told that my efforts were appreciated and valued led to a prideful, haughty spirit. I was putting myself up on a pedestal and judging others at the same time - yuck! That is the last place I want to be as a follower of Jesus!
Pride is a tricky thing; we all recognize the harm it can cause, but at the same time there aren’t many of us who cherish the thought we’re not nearly as independent and self-reliant as we’d like to believe. The Israelites weren’t too thrilled about this reality either; in her devotional “The Pathway to Humility,” Lysa TerKeurst from Proverbs 31 Ministries writes about the lessons that God’s chosen people learned during their years in the desert when they had to rely on God for everything.
Lysa shares three key lessons from their story in the Bible:
God is our Provider
God’s provision is what we need but not always what we want.
God’s provision protects our heart. Our desires have the potential of corrupting our heart.
I think the second one really hits home, especially as I think about my 10-year journey through chronic pain - God’s provision is what we need but not always what we want. Pain shattered the illusion of my independence, and for many years I was angry and bitter towards God. Yet because of my pain I’ve been able to experience God’s provision, care, and mercy in ways I never did when life was “normal.” I’m not saying to go out and seek chronic pain so you can have a deeper relationship with God - I pray every day for his healing! I am saying that his ways are not our ways, and that his blessings can often come in the most unexpected of ways if - IF - we’re open to receiving them from him.
Lysa offers this wisdom:
Man-made bread is not what gives the fullness of life God desires for us. Man-made success, riches and popularity are the same way. They won’t fulfill us like we think they will. Only the Word of God can seep into the hungry places of our souls and make what’s dead and discouraged become fully alive and deeply satisfied. We must want Him most of all. And then He’ll see our hearts are prepared and trustworthy to handle other things.
We are a proud bunch, aren’t we? Let’s help each other see the pathway to humility, and grown closer to Christ in the process.