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The Honor of Humility

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And before honor comes humility ( b NASB)

I worked for a mission’s organization called Youth With A Mission, referred to as YWAM. I was a recruiter and set up missions meetings in 35 cities east of the Mississippi River. I had wonderful people in each city working with me. Knowing that missionaries were just ordinary people who had the privilege of working with an extraordinary God, I sometimes felt these people had a little higher view of missionaries than we deserved.

One weekend a couple that organized meetings for me in South Carolina came to the YWAM center in Virginia where I lived. This couple really loved missions and they appreciated the work of our mission. But that weekend I was a little surprised when I found out why they really liked us so much.

Sunday morning we had them over our apartment for breakfast before going to church. That morning I was running between the dining area and the bedroom. I was trying to entertain my guests and also help my youngest daughter get dressed for church. I felt a little stressed. My little one, who usually was the picture of submission, was having a hard time listening to her Dad. Finally, I lost it and let her have it verbally in a very unloving fashion. As soon as the words came out of my mouth I knew I was wrong and apologized to her. She forgave me as kids usually do. But we were in the room right next to where my guests were waiting, and I thought to myself, "Did they hear what I said?" A little embarrassed, terror hit my heart. Again I thought, "I wonder what they think about me now?" 

At the breakfast table, I felt like a little child who didn't want to look into his parents eyes when he knows he's done something wrong. Needless to say, it was a very awkward breakfast for me.

After breakfast, I realized that not making eye contact with them was not going to work all day. After church, at a restaurant, before we prayed for the food, I decided to get this thing off my chest. It didn't matter whether they had heard me or not, I needed to be known in my weakness and ask them to pray that I would be better at handling stress. I told them the story and the husband got a huge smile on his face and said, “that's what we like about you YWAMERS, you have the rhema in this area of openness.”  

Wow! I saw more clearly than ever that I had been believing a lie. I thought that if I let myself be known for who I really was, I would lose their acceptance. What made me so susceptible to this deception? It was my pride. I cared more than I should about what my friends thought about me. What I wanted to hide, when revealed, didn’t bring shame but respect. In God's Kingdom honor is always preceded by humility.

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About The Author


Ken Barnes worked 17 years with Youth With A Mission as a school leader, recruiter, and a director. He holds a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is the author of The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places, published by YWAM Publishing in 2010. Currently, he is a speaker, blogger, and freelance writer. Ken lives with his wife, Sharon in Mechanicsville, Virginia.

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