Friday, April 18, 2008

Clean Heart: Part Sixteen

Do my motives reflect a clean heart?

Be as a rose bush that quietly grows, buds, opens wide in bloom, smells sweet. The attention it calls to itself is merely from its existence. It quietly and faithfully moves through the seasons carrying out what it was created to do. It allows itself to be pruned and cared for in quietness and its gentle and quiet spirit is indeed beautiful. It isn't worried about what other people think or other roses think or other flowers think. It just is.

Can I say that these things are true of me? No, I cannot. Pride has been a struggle for me in certain ways and I would love to truly model humility in a way that pleases God - but, I find this a challenge. False humility is not what God is looking for an true humility is not something that can be forced or come by easily.

I'm too often concerned with what others think or how they feel - trying so hard to please everyone. In truth, I'd be much better off using all that energy for an audience of One and being focused on what would most please and glorify Him.

Several years ago, I did a word study on pride and humility. Here are the definitions I wrote after studying lots and lots about these two words and all they entail:

Pride: Follows its own desires thinking its way is the only way and demanding the glory for itself, not God. Creates a heart of anger, fear, jealousy, condescending attitude and a me-first outlook. Opposite is humility.

Humility: Follows the example of Christ, who obediently submitted to God out of respect and reverence and to bring Him glory. Opposite is pride.

When you think of someone you know who models humility - what does that look like? What characteristics come to mind?


Kelly @ The Barefoot Mama said...

Oh Monica, that is simply a beautiful message. This very topic has been on my heart for a while. God really shines through us, from the inside out, when we quietly and humbly bear His presence. We don't need to exult him with brashness, proclaim His riches with vulgarity or even be ostentatious in our showings of affection for Him. A spirit of peace, humility and love is so quiet yet so captivating.

I've really enjoyed following along with this study and wanted to say THANKS, mama!

Anonymous said...

Dear Monica,
Thank you for this post. I so agree with Kelly. I read this post first thing this morning. I have been thinking about it all morning. The times in my life that i have been most quieted and humbled before the Lord are usually during hard, struggling, painful times. This is when i am least self reliant and understand who i am and Who He is. Usually i am on my face before Him in surrender and His grace and mercy are ABLE to minister to me. I wish it were more my *nature* to be humble before Him, quiet in my spirit, this is beautiful to Him i know. I guess it takes the daily renewing of my mind, trying not to be so distracted, and a constant understanding HE IS. I am so blessed by your post and the thoughts it leads me to.tammyp

~katie~ said...

I really appreciate these posts. To me, humility is using our talents and gifts that the Lord has given us in a way that gives all the glory to God. It's neat how I've watched friends/family become saved ~ and have watched how they've used their talents to please God instead of the world. One example is a dear lady I know ~ she majored in vocal performance. She was really into acting/dancing/performing. She became saved a couple years after graduating. Now she teaches vocal and other music lessons, sings in church, at weddings, and it is completely honoring to the Lord above and blesses so many ~ no worldy "look at me" type of attitude. This is just one example. For me, I've found the same thing ~ the talents I used to do to draw attention to myself to further my agenda ~ God has shown me how to use these gifts that he's given me to accomplish His purposes and glorify Him. I look forward to what He wants to teach me. I am learning all the time and He still has a LONG way to go with me! All for His glory. Thanks for posting about this Monica. This series is so invaluable. Motives are everything.

Farmhouse Blessings said...

Thank you, Monica, for blessing me with your profound reflections on this subject. I am so humbled in reading it.

Many blessings,