Tag Archives: Humility

Coming Down The Mountain

Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John… and bringeth them UP into an high mountain apart… And as they came DOWN from the mountain… —Matthew 17:1, 9

What is harder—Climbing up a mountain or coming down from a mountain?   I’m not a mountain climber, but I have climbed a couple of small mountains—Silly Mountain in Apache Junction, AZ and Hibriten Mountain in Lenoir, NC.  From my limited experience, it is just as hard, and maybe harder, to come down from a mountain as it was to go up!

I have a good friend who has climbed several large mountains—Pike’s Peak, Mount Rainier, Mount Shasta, and Mount Hood.  He told me the strain on your muscles after climbing up leaves your legs weak and rubbery.  You’re not as steady coming down as you were when you started up. Fatigue also makes it harder.

Peter, James, and John had a “mountain top experience” with Jesus as He was transfigured with Elijah and Moses before them (Mt. 17:1-8).  Peter wanted to make tents and dwell there.  But there were people at the base of the mountain who needed them.  So they came down.  What a descent that must have been for them as they came down from that mountain. [Most scholars believe this was on Mount Hermon.]

The same is true about coming down from a spiritual mountain top experience.  What a blessing to have a “mountain top” experience with the Lord.  But, you cannot live on the mountain top.  After the joy of being on the mountain top, we are faced with the inevitability of coming down to the reality of pain, sorrow and ministry.

Coming down spiritually can be painful. Jesus knew this when He came down from Mt. Zion in heaven to this sin-cursed planet.  Coming down means humbling yourself. This involves killing your pride and pride does not “die” easily (and has a way of resurrecting itself continually). After the disciples came down, they needed to be humbled (Mark 9:33-35).

So, enjoy whatever mountain top experience you may have with the Lord. But remember also, what goes up, must come down.  For every mountain top there is a valley also, and coming down may be harder than going up.

 

Great, But with Whom?

Naaman… was a great man with his master…” —2 Kings 5:1

“…he [John the Baptist] shall be great in the sight of the Lord…” —Luke 1:15

Naaman was “a great man WITH HIS MASTER…”  A person’s so-called “greatness” depends on the company he keeps.  For example: There are those who are “great” with the world, but don’t amount to anything with the Lord—in reality they are “a leper.”    It is one thing to be “great” with your peers, and another thing to be great with the Lord.

If you only keep company with one particular crowd, you will only hear what that crowd says about you.  Birds of a feather flock together.  If you only surround yourself with people who think you’re special, how will you know if you may not be as great as people think you are?  The danger in only hearing people’s accolades is you may actually start to believe it!

Beware of the praises of people. Be content with rejoicing in yourself alone, and not in another (Gal. 6:4). It doesn’t matter how great people think you are. All that really counts is the praise that comes from God (1 Cor. 4:5). Jesus asked, “How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?” (John 5:44).  Read Romans 2:29.

I heard someone offer this advice:  Spend some time in the company of people who don’t particularly like you.  It will be good for you and will help you to have a balanced view of yourself.  It will keep you from having illusions of grandeur (Rom. 12:3; Gal. 6:3).

10 Important Words in Christian Relationships

With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Eph. 4:2, 3, 32).

This exhortation from the Apostle Paul is a plea for church members to exercise some T.L.C. towards others.   We all have our shortcomings and weaknesses.  None of us are perfect.  I pray these 10 words will be manifest in all our dealings with one another:

1.“Lowliness”— Being humble. Not proud.

2.“Meekness”— Not easily provoked; Yielding rights.

3.“Longsuffering”— Patience.

4.“Forbearing”— Tolerance of another’s shortcomings and failures.

5.“Love”— Putting the other person ahead of yourself.

6.“Unity”— Sticking together.

7.“Peace”— Freedom from strife or agitation; calm.

8.“Kind” — Sympathetic, gracious, adverse to hurting.

9.“Tenderhearted”— Affectionate, pitying.

10.“Forgiving” — inclined to overlook offenses; mild; merciful.

These 10 words will make a difference in your church and in your family.  How many of these words are manifest in your relationships?

Helping Someone Who is Hurting

Romans 12:9-16 state five significant truths for effective counseling for a soul who is hurting.

1.  Be GENUINE (v. 9). People can tell if you are real.

2.  Be DILIGENT (v. 11). Helping hurting people is hard work.

3.  Be ASSERTIVE (v. 13). Those who help people must take the initiative. The reason many do not get the help they need is because everyone is thinking someone else is going to do it.

4.  Be SELFLESS (v. 15). Real helpers are those who give of themselves. F.W. Borham uses this analogy from the game of dominos:

“The highest art in dominos lies in matching your companions pieces. Victory in dominos does not lie in accumulation, but in exhaustion.  The player left with empty hands wins everything. When you’ve played all your dominos, when they are all gone, you’ve won.”

    As in the game of dominos, we match one another’s pieces/emotions—We match their weeping with our weeping. We match their rejoicing with our rejoicing.  When we’ve sacrificed all our pieces to match their pieces, we have won.

5.  Be HUMBLE (v. 16). True helpers and not “class” conscious.  You cannot be proud and help anyone. Proud people are only concerned about themselves.

Reach out to someone who is hurting by applying these five truths.

DEFLECTING PRAISE

Deflecting Praise

Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake. —Psalms 115:1

On Easter Sunday in 1993, Bernhard Langer won the Master’s Golf Tournament—One of golf’s most prestigious awards.  A reporter approached Langer and said, “This must be the greatest day of your life!” Without hesitating, Langer answered, “It’s wonderful to win the greatest tournament in the world, but it means more to win on Easter Sunday—to celebrate the resurrection of my Lord and Savior.”

As Paul wrote, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Gal. 6:14), Langer refused to glory in himself. Instead, he deflected the glory to his Savior—The Lord Jesus Christ.

Pride looks for ways to draw attention to our accomplishments. Humility looks for ways to deflect the praise back to God and others who are actually responsible for any success in our lives.  For example, someone says, “I really liked the special you sang at church this morning.” A good response would be, “It’s easy to sing well when you are singing about Jesus.” Or, “Our pianist makes any singer sound good.”

You can’t glory in Jesus when you are preoccupied with yourself. Therefore, look for opportunities to deflect the praise to Him who made your success possible. As James M. Gray wrote in that blessed hymn…

Naught have I gotten but what I received,

Grace hath bestowed it since I have believed;

Boasting excluded, pride I abase

I’m only a sinner saved by grace!

    Don’t forget what happened to Herod— “And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory (Acts 12:23).