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Posts Tagged ‘Humility’

We have all heard that “communication is key” but what are the keys to good communication?
What makes communication break down in the first place? I remember hearing a radio talk show many years ago, a man was describing how he and his wife had two totally different views about how you take care of a sick person. He was down with a cold, and asked her for some orange juice, she came back with what he thought to be a thimble full, and his expectation of a big tumbler full was unfulfilled. The two  were raised differently, one with small glasses of O.J.  being left alone to sweat it out, the other being pampered with lots of juice, soup and attention. Case in point, communication is not just words, and it is also important to note that whatever it is, goes through a sort of prism of our own personal experiences, thought processes, and communication styles.

What goes out of our mouth, hits the ear of the hearer, goes through the filter of their point of reference, bents, insecurities, etc. and they take it the way they do according to that. Each person has their own filter.  What the difficult task is , is to be completely vulnerable in exposing our filters to the people around us, so they understand our communication styles. This of course includes our insecurities, anxieties, fears, opinions etc.  My husband grew up in a large, loud, Spanish speaking  family.  They all spoke over one another, and nobody took it with any offense.  I, on the other hand, grew up in a family where you didn’t communicate at all, and children were to “speak when spoken to” ” seen and not heard”.  No noise at the dinner table etc, so when I first experienced my husband loud talking, I thought he was angry with me, and broke down crying.  He and my children to this day speak with passion, a bit loud, but I understand this to be their style.  They on their part, speak to me with a softer tone, and try to be mindful of my need for a  less robust conversation.

How do we find the best way to speak to each other? I tried to think of the best communicator of all time, and  of Jesus, it is said: (John 1:1)” in the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was GOD….and vs 14 and the word became flesh and dwelt among us” The very word of God, came to earth and became a man so that we would know how to live in this world amongst each other in a bond of love and in humility.

In the book of John, Christ used the term ‘ Verily, Verily I say unto you’… no less than 18 times. In one book!  When a word is spoken twice, it means listen carefully.  I think we have to take notice of this first off, as he knows our  propensity to listen with only half of our attention.  We need to be sure that the person is really taking a hard listen if we have an important thing to impart to them.  Don’t expect them to be listening intently to your heart felt outpourings if you don’t get their undivided attention first. Also notice, we may need to repeat ourselves.

Jesus spoke to the disciples, and crowds  in Parables ( stories which teach lessons ).  Jesus used things very familiar to the people around Him to paint mental pictures so that they would understand the things He was trying to impart to them.  Many times, we need to find a thing that our spouse, or child, friend etc. can relate to, and use that to paint a picture of how something may be affecting us, or maybe what we may need from them.  Whether it is using children’s toys or a husbands computer program, or car engine, golf game etc. There is a way to ‘story tell’ so that making a parallel using that imagery will help them connect with you.  Reading the Parables will help understand what I mean here.

Jesus said we are the salt of the earth, from what I have read about this, Jesus being a Rabbi, would have understood that  sacrifices and blessings were made with an application of salt. Salt was used to preserve, to purify, to bless, and to flavor.  When we communicate anything to one another, let us keep in mind, that we are called the salt of the Earth, which should heal one another, and purify, when one is in the wrong, salt will draw out the poison of sin ( in 2 Kings 19 Elisha threw salt into the poison well to heal it, and turn the water sweet)  apply the words of restoration to them in love = salt, Blessing = salt we should be blessing each other by actions, and words, every day, without fail. Jesus is our example, and He gives us all we need to carry out loving one another in this way… ” Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”

He has given us the key, He knows us- each one of us Intimately, our very  hairs are numbered, he knows our hearts,  our failings, and the things we have endured.  We can trust that He will give us the wisdom to use the keys He has given us to lovingly, communicate with one another.  As we desire to do what is in the best interest of the people we love, We can’t go wrong in seeking Him for guidance and wisdom in the process.

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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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Keep me low, keep me low…. I woke up this morning with these words going through my brain, over and over again. They became part of my prayer, as I realized that my new subject with the Lord is humility. I remembered an episode of The Dog Whisperer I saw recently ( I know, it sounds strange, where is this going?) There were two aggressive wolf hybrids which Caesar Milan was called in to help with. When he was introducing the regal, white wolf cross to his pack through the chain link fence, he was looking for one thing before he would let the huge canine join on the other side : his head to go low. It is a sign of submission, and acceptance that you are not the one “large and in charge”. I lay there in bed thinking, praying…this is not working!
prostrate

I got up and went out where it was quiet in the living room, (yeah, snoring was distracting my prayers and thinking) After a time of praying on my face and asking God to keep me humble, I started getting bombarded with all the thoughts of what I had just given up. All the wrongs that had been done to me flooded in to my brain, and those words, “keep me low” started to make sense. I prayed more, and God started speaking to my heart about how in Genesis 21, there is a very small passage where Hagar and her son were in the wilderness, cast out from Abraham and Sarah’s family, God SAW her ( I AM ) the God who sees your need, your sorrow, the injustices, ( I AM ) your deliverer , comfort, strength, whatever you need.  I AM YOUR deliverer .  I have given you all that you need that pertains to life and godliness,  (2 Peter 1:3 ) , so walk in my strength and power.  I have overcome these things on your behalf, (John 16 :33) so put them to rest! This will be a process  for me that is for sure!

I love the story of Pilgrims Progress, Christian loses his burden at the foot of the cross.  That is at the beginning of his brave journey to the ‘Celestial City’.  Along his way, he falls into slumber, fights Appolyon, gets trapped in Doubting Castle, and locked up in Vanity Fair.  What is wonderful though, is that he had companions along the journey, some tested him, and some lifted him, yet all the while, The King was always there, His servants were there to guide and cheer him along the way.  Let us not grow weary in serving one another along our path to the Celestial City.  We are servants of The King!  To see a weary pilgrim along the path, and wonder what their problem is, and go along your merry way is just not pleasing to the king. (Ephesians 4 :2) If you see someone who you have a tendency to avoid, you may want to just find out what is going on in their life.  Chances are, you may be the only person who comes along side them as a traveling companion along their wearisome road.

Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function,
5so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Micah 6:8 He has not shown you oh man, what is good and what the Lord requires of you :
to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?

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