Getting off the pedestal.
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Maybe I’m reading too much into this poor, judged goose. I likely imposed these motives onto him because of my own heart’s tendencies. If I’m honest, I enjoy being looked up to and even feeling better than others. I even like to pretend I’m somehow above the effects of sin and brokenness in myself and the world around me. It’s ugly! Of course, I’m not uniquely flawed in that way or Peter and James wouldn’t have exhorted the church with these words.
“Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
1 Peter 5:5-7 English Standard Version
“What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? . . .You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. . . But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’ Submit yourselves, then, to God. . . Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
James 4:1, 3, 6, 7, 10 English Standard Version
Isn’t it interesting that these verses dealing with humility towards one another are so closely linked with our attitudes in prayer? When we are stuck in selfish mindsets and believe we are above suffering or sacrifice, our prayers can become either absent or demanding. When we go before the throne of grace, we are bowing before a sovereign King Whose will we may not understand. He delights in our prayers when they are from a humble heart in submission to Him in all things. With that attitude He bids us to confidently cast our cares on Him and ask Him for our needs. In that place of humility before the God we exalt, our hearts are positioned to love one other.
Text and photo copyright Jen Brukiewa.