These passages are all things that I have had to repent for. I could sit here for hours and tell you of all the instances where I have been so proud, but really, what a stupid thing to boast about. I'll save time and round the number up to a lot. I have been thinking about so many things that I see hitting the body of believers and it is stuff that I am still daily trying to kill within myself.
I mean look at this stuff...
For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. “BUT
IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A
DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
I used to be known, ( and still very much am) for my ability to tear anyone apart with my words and wit. I developed that because as a means of defense because I got picked on so much in school... and then, I just kept on with it. So proud.. my defenses. Nobody pushes me, nobody treads on me, nobody does anything without me giving back far worse than I got... If you wronged me, then I would make well and sure that you knew all about it all the wrong way.
Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.
Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?
- James 4
Humbling is such an interesting thing. I used to pride myself on how I would never quit. My brother used to say that when I lock on to something, I was like a pit bull in the sense that I would never let go. If I thought I was right, there was absolutely NOTHING in the world that could change my mind without solid proof. I admit this with much embarrassment. I admit this with a bit of shame. I used to get mad at people for various things that happened in my life. I used to get enraged about injustices and how they wronged me. Sitting in the dark with open wounds I would cry out in pain, and on occasion, curse the person that hurt me.
And that is contrary to the way of the messiah.
Thus says the LORD,“Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool.
Where then is a house you could build for Me? And where is a place that I may rest?
“For My hand made all these things, Thus all these things came into being,” declares the LORD. “But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.
- Isaiah 66
What does my hand produce? If all authority comes from God, then why do I rage at those who have wronged me? Why is it that I am not yet like David in exile who stays the hand of his men ready to kill a scoffer, because I fear God. if he, being a king, allowed humility to fall on him because he is mindful of God, then who am I to go forward and demand that everyone make right the way that they have transgressed upon me? Who am I?
And what, should I be angry with the lord of hosts who allowed such a circumstance to fall on me?
No. I think I am starting to understand Paul when he said to rejoice when trials and crap hits you in the face( paraphrasing here) because these things are authorized by God who knows what is best for you. I look back at all the things I have done, and all the choices i have made...
... and how God's hand was in it all shaping me and teaching me how to be more like him.
Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
I was so quick to recount every wrong and every way that I hurt others, but honestly... I wasn't very good at just taking stock of how much I was screwing up. How proud and angry I was because wronged me, and I thought I was something.... I was lying to myself. Again I think it comes back to the fact that if you try to save your life, you lose it and if you lose your life for his sake, you'll gain it.
Pride is the thing killing people of faith right now. We're not trying to out serve one another. We're not esteeming our brothers and sisters greater than ourselves. We're not trying to be as children enter the kingdom.. we're trying to be kings of our own right. This is killing churches, people, marriages, friendships, relationships as a whole.
As I look over my history and my relationships that have been strained, I offer a sincere apology to those who I have wronged and hurt through my arrogance and unforgiveness. I'm fighting pride. It's part of dying to self. Crucifying the flesh.
Per a request from a friend of mine, I will do a post on forgiveness when I get a chance.