Thursday, 26 August 2010

God is more committed to our humility than to our success!

Do we realise that God is committed to our humility?

There are many things that I would like to change about myself.  I would love to be five-and-a-half inches taller.  I was always last, or second last, in our school races back in primary school.  I was among the bottom of the class academically.  That meant that I was put in the slower steam in secondary school.  I struggled to be good at sports, but ended up being quite good at rugby in my last couple of years.  I had to repeat my leaving-cert to get into college (largely because after doing well in my inter-cert I gave up making an effort).  In college I aimed for a 2:1 (in order to prove that I was smart) but fell short of it.  Now I struggle with O.C.D. (which can be humiliating as you try to explain to people the nature of the intrusive thoughts).

I am not denying that there are things that I am good at but God has given to me many things that should help make me humble (I say 'make me humble' rather than 'keep me humble' because even with my limited successes and gifts I have often fallen into the trap of pride).  While I may be to blame for some of the things I would like to change I do believe that it pleases God at times to thwart our ambitions and limit our abilities because he is more committed to our humility than our worldly success.

But do we communicate this truth to those in our churches?  Do we encourage godliness with contentment in the face of our human weaknesses and struggles?  Can we thank God for our weaknesses as well as our strengths?  Do our young people realise that it might not be God's plan for them to get all that they aim for?  Or, do we exalt the more obviously gifted?  Do people feel the need to appear strong in at our gatherings?  Do we rate people's worth by their worldly success?   

Remember God is more committed to our humility than our success!     

3 comments:

Virtual Methodist said...

There are elements here that I echo, and have touched on recently, but there's something about the emphasis that leaves me uneasy. To say that God is more committed to our humility... could be percieved as the same as him being committed to our humiliation, which portrays a picture of God that is very familiar, but which I am uncomfortable with. I'm not accusing you of saying that... but when we (ironically) elevate humility and isolate it from the other characteristics of a Godly character, or forget that it is always to be contrasted with un-Godly pride, it can seem to make our humility, or humiliation a goal in itself... Whereas, in scripture humility is always a gateway to a true appreciation of ourselves in the light of God's greatness and grace... This should not produce either the false humility of a Uriah Heep, or the crushed spirit that is sometimes the product of a conception of a wrathful God. Sorry... a bit of a dijointed comment, and far too long... but what you are touching on is important, yet very complex...

To whom it may concern said...

Thanks VM
Really appreciate your comment. I think I was writing as corrective to the success-culture that I feel is prevelant in our society. The young people in our church are so driven that I fear that this is where they believe their worth will be found. I want them to realise that God's agenda is more focused on their character than their CV. Sadly some of the parents need to realise this too.
Paul

Virtual Methodist said...

Thought that might have been the issue, what with the exam results coming out etc... Touched on it myself this week at VM from a slightly different angle... Agree with you that we need to point our young people to some other measure of "worth" than those offered by the world...