DayBreaks for 08/09/12 – Getting Over Yourself

DayBreaks for 08/09/12 – Getting Over Yourself

Psalm 23: 3 – “…for His name’s sake.

Ah, yes.  Our self-image.  We are prone to image problems!  It seems that most people are either despairing because they feel they have no worth to anyone (even God) or they think they’re pretty special (after all, they know their own thoughts like no one else does) and that everyone would do well to be as wonderful, smart, beautiful or talented as they are.   Then, there are some who understand what they are in-and-of-themselves, and how that has been counterbalanced by what they are in Christ.  These are the fortunate ones that understand that though we are sinners, we can wash our robes pure in the blood of the Lamb, that God loves them passionately, and that He has declared them worthy.

Jesus clearly taught how God feels about those who are prideful: “I tell you, when this man went home, he was right with God, but the Pharisee was not.  All who make themselves great will be made humble, but all who make themselves humble will be made great.”  (Lk. 18:14)  God loves the humble, but hates the proud.  It is important to note that when humans take the initiative to make themselves great (“all who make themselves great…”) they will “be made” humble, but those who make themselves humble will “be made” great.  Is it not a much greater thing to be made something by God instead of by yourself?

How is humility cultivated?  Max Lucado in Traveling Light offered tips on how to get over yourself to learn humility:

  1. Assess yourself honestly: “Humility isn’t the same as low self-esteem.  Being humble doesn’t mean you think you have nothing to offer; it means you know exactly what you have to offer and no more.”
  2. Don’t take success too seriously:“Scripture gives this warning – ‘When your…silver and gold increase…your heart will become proud.’  Counteract this pride with reminders of the brevity of life and the frailty of wealth.   Ponder your success and count your money in a cemetery, and remember that neither of the two is buried with you.”
  3. Celebrate the significance of others: “In humility consider others better than yourselves.”
  4. Don’t demand your own parking place:“Go sit in a seat that is not important.  When the host comes to you, he may say, ‘Friend, move up here to a more important place.’  Then all the other guests will respect you.’  (Lk. 14:10)  Demanding respect is like chasing a butterfly.  Chase it, and you’ll never catch it.  Sit still, and it may light on your shoulder.”
  5. Don’t announce your success before it occurs:  “One who puts on his armor should not boast like one who takes it off.”  (1 Kings 20:11)  Simply put: don’t brag about defeating an enemy or conquering a mountain before you’ve actually conquered it.  It is easy to brag before going into battle, but who (besides God) knows if you will fall?  If you don’t, and you come out alive, remember it was by His grace that you live to see another day.
  6. Speak humbly: “Let no arrogance come from your mouth.”  (1 Sam. 2:3)
  7. Live at the foot of the cross: “Paul said, ‘The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ is my only reason for bragging’ (Gal. 6:14)  Do you feel a need for affirmation?  Does your self-esteem need attention?  You need only pause at the base of the cross to be reminded of this: The maker of the stars would rather die for you than live without you.”

Have you been a bit puffed up lately?  Re-read Max’s list and pray about it.  Have you been feeling down on yourself lately?  Re-read Max’s list and pray about it.  Know who you are, what you are, what you have to offer – and most of all, where it all comes from!.

PRAYER: It amazes me, Jesus, how we can go from humble to proud in a heartbeat, and how we can even be proud of our humility!  Adjust our perspective and keep our self-image fully informed by Your Word.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 04/10/12 – Is It Nothing to You?

DayBreaks for 04/10/12 – Is It Nothing to You?

"Is it nothing to you?" - God

 ‘Is it nothing to you?’ (Lam. 1:12)

From The Unchained Soul, by Calvin Miller comes this analogy:

An African myth tells of a tribe whose people noticed that their cows were not giving as much milk as they once did.  In spying on their cows at midnight, they noticed a beautiful young woman carrying a large pail and floating down to earth on a moon ray.  She milked their cows and went back to the skies.  One the following night, when they trapped this thieving goddess, they discovered that she was the Sky Maiden, a member of a sky tribe who had no other way to get food for themselves.  The man who had trapped the Sky Maid promised to release her if she would return and marry him.  She agreed, but only if he would allow her to return to the sky for three days and prepare herself.  When she returned, she brought with her a large sealed box.  She told the man that she would marry him, but he must promise her he would never look inside the box.  They were married and for many weeks lived happily together, but one day when his wife was away from their hut, the bridegroom’s curiosity got the best of him.  He opened the box and looked inside.  He was amazed.  The box was empty.

“When the Sky Maid discovered that he had looked inside, she refused to be married to him any longer.  Her earthbound husband did not understand why she would leave him for so trivial a matter as an empty box.  She replied to him with these words: ‘I’m not leaving you because you opened the box, I thought you probably would.  I’m leaving you because you said it was empty.  It wasn’t empty; it was full of sky.  It contained the light and the air and the smells of my home in the sky.  When I went home for the last time, I filled that box with everything that was most precious to me to remind me of where I came from.  How can I be your wife if what is most precious to me is emptiness to you?’

“This parable explains the plight of God.  How is it that, when we mean so very much to God, he means so little to us?  Yet his love is unconditional.  It flows eternally toward us, whether or not we stop to love God in return.

“For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.  But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  (Rom. 5:6-8)

“God loves us to the extremity of the cross and says to us, ‘Look in the box.’  Grace fills the treasure chest of God.  Is His glorious love of no value?  Do you experience this love beyond all telling, or are you incriminated by Jeremiah’s cry, ‘Is it nothing to you?’ (Lam. 1:12)

How important are the treasures of God to you?

PRAYER: May what You treasure be our highest desire, and may we treasure those things more than our own lives!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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