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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