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Posts Tagged ‘affirmation’

Humility is a term I have not understood very well in my lifetime. It got tangled up with inferiority, self doubt, timidity, and many other things, but God in His wisdom never lets us stay in a state of confusion about such things, so He lays out lesson plans for us to learn how to walk in true humility.

Definition: modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance, rank, etc.

It takes conflict in one form or another to expose the lack of real humility in our lives. First God exposes us through various conflicts. For me, I was certain God wanted me to step out in my gifts, and serve the church with my talents in decorating for events etc.   As I volunteered, I went up against a person who has been in charge for a long time, and  has had a fairly iron grip on the whole program. I would try to be a part, but felt I could not really do what I was good at. I didn’t necessarily want to be ‘in charge’, but I did have a feeling of self importance. I wanted autonomy, to be taken seriously, after all I did that for a living in the past…  I was good at this stuff!  I was seeing things in myself I didn’t know were there;  attitudes not pleasing to God.   Here is the kicker… I realized that in this process, I was also dealing with a childhood hangover- VALIDATION.  Some heavy emotional baggage from childhood left me in need of much grace in this area.  I have struggled with needing affirmation from and for the things I do.  Affirmation for a job well done somehow validating my existence? In my heart I know it is ridiculous,  but it is the trap I fall into if I am not careful.

Do I really think it matters if I contribute? Was it really because I want to be a blessing or because I have a need to fulfill in my own life?  When we serve our families, is it for the accolades, the appreciation, the elimination of guilt, the fulfillment of being better than your own parent?

By His grace I know it is not about me, and my need for using my gifts and talents, rather, it is all about giving preference to others in serving wherever I can with no regard to my self.  These are the ‘golden nuggets’ of true love in the church, and in marriage and family : that we not regard ourselves as the most important, but that we look to serve the people around us because we care about them, and love them, not for anything we can get in return, no accolades, appreciation, gold stars, or brownie points.

Phillipians2: 1-8 “Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion,make my joy complete being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;
do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.Have this attitude among yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,but laid aside His privileges emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

It is difficult to look at yourself in terms of Pride and Humility, however, I think of scriptures which say GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” James 4:6

“I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.”—Ezekiel 34:26.

ERE is sovereign mercy—”I will give them the shower in its season.” Is it not sovereign, divine mercy?—for who can say, “I will give them showers,” except God? There is only one voice which can speak to the clouds, and bid them beget the rain. Who sendeth down the rain upon the earth? Who scattereth the showers upon the green herb? Do not I, the Lord? So grace is the gift of God, and is not to be created by man. It is also needed grace. What would the ground do without showers? You may break the clods, you may sow your seeds, but what can you do without the rain? As absolutely needful is the divine blessing. In vain you labour, until God the plenteous shower bestows, and sends salvation down. Then, it is plenteous grace. “I will send them showers.” It does not say, “I will send them drops,” but “showers.” So it is with grace. If God gives a blessing, He usually gives it in such a measure that there is not room enough to receive it. Plenteous grace! Ah! we want plenteous grace to keep us humble, to make us prayerful, to make us holy; plenteous grace to make us zealous, to preserve us through this life, and at last to land us in heaven. We cannot do without saturating showers of grace. Again, it is seasonable grace. “I will cause the shower to come down in his season.” What is thy season this morning? Is it the season of drought? Then that is the season for showers. Is it a season of great heaviness and black clouds? Then that is the season for showers. “As thy days so shall thy strength be.” And here is a varied blessing. “I will give thee showers of blessing.” The word is in the plural. All kinds of blessings God will send. All God’s blessings go together, like links in a golden chain. If He gives converting grace, He will also give comforting grace. He will send “showers of blessing.” Look up to-day, O parched plant, and open thy leaves and flowers for a heavenly watering.

I pray I will learn quickly this lesson of HUMILITY, as it is my desire to do your will Father, and be all you want me to be.

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Things have been hard in the world lately. It has been hard to hang on to what we have, whether it be a job, house, relationship, it is just intense these days! I was reflecting this morning on how hard it has been on my husband, he has allot of pressure on him. The times when we are in the crucible of trials is when we need someone to be solidly behind us. We need words of affirmation, and the confidence building that assures them that everything is going to be O.K. Think about the marriage vow, “… in richer and in poorer, in sickness and in health” a commitment and promise was made that assured that other person that you wouldn’t let them down , even in the worst of circumstances.
In Ephesians chapter five, Paul states no less than three times that the man should love his wife, and once that he should “cleave to her”. It is not there for arbitrary reasons, and three times?
We can be hard to love sometimes, we can nitpick him, nag, place all sorts of heavy expectations on him. We make excuses for it, like “I am having PMS” or “Menopause” or “I am having your child!” What does Paul say to us women? “Wives, submit to your husbands as unto The Lord” (Eph. 5:22)
Ladies, he makes mistakes, men, you make mistakes, but we have to bring those to the Lord, and HONOR you with solidarity and affirmation. We are partners, we are in this together, a team. If one is down, that other team member must be there to pick the other up. ( Ecc 4:9 Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.
Ecc 4:10 For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. )
It is so easy to break the spirit of your spouse. I cannot emphasize that enough. It is so easy to tear down, and hollow them out to the brink of complete despondency. If this is learned before it is too late, it can make a world of difference. One pastor said one Sunday, that the best thing that parents can do for their children is to love one another, and be affectionate toward each other. This teaches the children what a nurturing marriage should look like, and theirs will have that much more chance of success. I have to confess, I have not been a nurturing and affirming wife lately, and have never seen my husband so hollowed out. He is usually the most confident, upbeat, inspiring person you will ever meet. My words have torn him down to the very core of his being, and I have a heavy heart. I am thankful our children are grown. All that I share with you is from experience, and forty nine years of learning at the University of Hard Knocks. I am confident my best friend and I will get all things sorted out, we always have these thirty years, but what I learned through this situation is that I never want to see my best friend and husband lacking in my affirmation and support ever again.

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