Thursday, March 10, 2011
Humility in Successful Circumstances
What I haven't before considered, and what makes this even more amazing, is that Moses had every circumstance around him that would create someone who was prideful and egotistic. You see Moses had grown up in the royal Egyptian household. Egypt was amazingly powerful at this point in history. He was part of an important family! No doubt, he had slaves and people doing whatever he asked. Think of the type of person that usually comes out of that type of situation--someone very full of himself!
In addition, once Moses has run away from Egypt and started his new life shepherding, God visits Moses and asks HIM to lead the nation of Israel. Truly stop and think about this now. Imagine you are royalty or part of the presidential household all the way to adulthood. Then, imagine that the God of everything chooses YOU to do a tremendously important task. We get puffed up when church leadership knows our name or when our kids get an academic or sports award. That is NOTHING compared to what Moses had. I think there is truth in saying Moses's circumstances might tempt us to be prideful.
Despite these circumstances, not only was Moses humble, but the Bible tell us he was the MOST humble person on earth. WOW! That is convicting to me.
This doesn't mean he had a poor view of himself or bad self esteem. It means he thought of others more and thought of himself less. He put God first and others before himself. How often in Exodus we see Moses interceding and praying for the Israelites and family members, even after they have mocked him or slandered him! He had a Philippians 2 attitude.
Now we know Moses wasn't perfect. He had a temper issue, and he was human. However, I would venture to say that we women could learn a lot from Moses about staying humble despite circumstances God allows to flourish or bloom in our lives.
For example, what about our physique? This week on Facebook, a girl was proud she had lost her baby weight. This is a good thing! I was very happy for her! However, some people commented that she "earned" it by all her hard work to lose weight. She had worked hard, but here was no mention of God's part in that. I once had another really mature Christian lady get offended when someone told her God had genetically blessed her with her frame. She said it was only because she worked out so much that she was the size she was able to be. It is hard work to keep fit and healthy, but we can never ever take God out of that equation. Without health, a body that is able to exercise and genetics that allow us to be slim, we wouldn't be that size that we want to be. Some people, no matter how much they work, will not be that size. We cannot become prideful in our looks, even if we do sacrifice and work for a smaller size. In a second, God can cause a circumstance where you gain weight and cannot "work" to keep it off. Instead of only patting ourselves on the back, we need to point to recognize God and thank Him for the time, energy, health and ability to work out and eat healthy food. There is a place for a "Good job" to a friend who has been losing weight, but we cannot give ourselves full or even the majority of the credit. Plus, of course, we need to make sure our motivation is right. It shouldn't be full of vanity. It only takes a few years before wrinkles, cellulite and decaying/sick bodies remind us we have NO control over our physical bodies in the end.
This can apply to our kids too. Moms, it is SO easy to be prideful when our kids do well at something. We want to tell everyone about it and we beam at that award ceremony or announcement. However, did we do something great? Did our kid do this by his own ability? As Christians, we have to point to Christ and realize, with HUMILITY, that all gains we have been given are His doing and are for HIS glory. Use the opportunity to recognize God and teach your child that God has given him this talent/ability/or soft heart.
God gives us the very breath we breathe, the bodies we have were formed by Him, the brains we use are taught and made by our Creator, the opportunities we are given are preordained by God himself, the money we earn is provided by God, and the talents and gifts we have are chosen by God for us to give Him glory.
What did we do on our own? Nothing. We like to boast--it feeds our flesh. Paul reminds us to only boast for God's glory. Galatians 6:14 "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." He also constantly boasts of others' conduct when they are giving God glory and being obedient to the Word.
Hmmmm. Think about this. Do we boast of others doing great things for God? Definitely not as much as we should. We should recognize and encourage those who are excelling in their conduct as a Christian or making great strides at sharing the gospel or doing good works constantly for those in the church.
Sadly, ladies, we are too busy worried about ourselves and making sure people perceive us well. We want people to give US pats on the back and give us compliments. God's plan is the opposite. We are to POUR ourselves out for His glory and for the benefit of the body of believers.
In what areas do you find yourself pridefully sinning? Is it body image, gifts/talents, money, intelligence, job, status, or kid's behavior or talents? What can you do to take the focus off yourself and onto boasting in God and others' efforts for His kingdom? Take some time in prayer today to repent of prideful areas and to give thanks to God for any benefitial circumstances He has allowed in your life. Then, choose 2 or 3 people to whom you can encourage and recognize for their great obedience for the furthering of God's Kingdom.
Finally, meditate on Numbers 12:3 in light of Moses's life circumstances and benefits. Seek to be a woman who is that humble--emptying herself for God's glory!