Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pride, Disgrace, vs. Humility, Wisdom

Humble Ourselves Before God

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace,

but with humility comes wisdom.”

Proverbs 11:2 (NIV)

We humans have a condition that gets us into trouble quicker than we ever think. The condition is called pride. The symptoms are inflated ego, ‘I’ problems, and an enlarged sense of self-importance.

A person sins and when he or she is confronted by godly superiors, that person says he or she didn’t do anything wrong. Or a person gets caught, receives guidance to pursue counseling, but states he or she hasn’t done one thing wrong. Both of these scenarios are examples of pride. Prideful people eventually get into trouble with other people and with the Lord.

God honors humility, the quality that allows believers to put others before themselves, He grants us wisdom as we learn who we are in the scheme of things.

When God asked Solomon what his wish was for, it wasn’t riches, long life or death of his enemies, Solomon responded by asking “for a wise and discerning heart . . . and to distinguish from right and wrong.” “I will give you a wise and discerning heart so there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.” “Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for-both riches and honor-so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. 1 Kings 3: 9-13

Solomon forgot his part of the covenant, he forgot to obey God. But he still had wisdom, after he humbled himself.

As we mature in the Lord, we learn we don’t have to lose our tempers when things go wrong. We find we can reason issues out with those who have caused us concern. I’m thankful that I am still teachable about the ways of God and how He wants me to conduct myself.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Guidance for the Humble

God's Guidance through the storm
“He guides the humble in what is

right and teaches them his way.”

Psalm 25:9 (NIV)

Our Heavenly Father leads us if we approach Him humbly. He takes us by the hand and shows us the way through our lives and those crises that come upon us.

These difficult times could be personal in nature: health issues-physical, emotional, and mental; financial setbacks, family issues. God will guide us through anything we have that would wear us down.

While He guides us through these pitfalls, He teaches us how we should deal with such issues. God does this out of the grace and mercy He has for each of His children.

He teaches us in ways we will remember. Either God will lead us through the battle and maybe leave us unscarred or He might allow us to be left with a wound that will cause us to remember how He brought us through or the Lord will allow us to watch the event unfold from a safe distance.

God teaches us, His children, something every day, through each valley we go through, because He loves us and cares about us. Let us all come before His throne with humility and seek the guidance we need.

I recently had a physical-one that was to be an introduction to my new health coverage. One Friday, I received statements telling me what had been paid and what I may still owe. A quick tally of the outstanding amounts yielded a total that I found daunting. I made a phone call to the insurance to find out one particular claim turned into the insurance was denied. I had called just after the office that could help me had closed.

Monday morning, I called the insurance again to find out why the one particular claim had been denied. I notified my doctor’s office and received an 800 number to call the billing department, who listened and gave me another 800 number for the lab that submitted the claim. It seems my secondary insurance paid a portion of the claim after discounting the claim amount.

Tuesday, I called the doctor’s office and asked to speak to the same lady I dealt with the day before. I told her what I discovered and we finished the conversation. Later, the lady called me, she told me the claim that had been denied would be resubmitted and then she mentioned another claim on my account would also be resubmitted.

At no time in this series of phone calls did I feel it necessary to raise my voice-something unusual for me. I was stern but controlled. Maybe, just maybe, I have learned humility.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...