We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Aaron Martell.
“Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight.”
“I’m kind of a big deal.” How strange is it to hear that? Say it out loud? Or even to the point of me exclaiming, “I’m kind of a big deal.” You don’t even know me from Adam. If you heard that or saw that in me or in yourself, what’s your first reaction? Man, that guy is arrogant. He’s stuck up, not sure if I would want to hang out with him.
Yet, how true is that within our lives? If someone or something comes against our thought process or the way we do things? The successes we have in life? The things we accumulate? What is our status in any given area; from CrossFit to our 401K to our careers to our stuff? “Yeah, I’m kind of a big deal.” The reason I share it in that context is because I think part of understanding humility is understanding our posture.
Notice what Paul says to the church of Rome in Romans 12:16, “Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not think you are superior.” Do you see the different instances of posture within this passage? Harmony with others starts with our posture. Seeing others in low position or a position that is different than others, how quick are we to think we are better than them.
Notice how candid the MSG version is, “Get along with each other; don’t be stuck up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.” Eugene Peterson in his translation puts it pretty plainly, get along, make friends, are you really that big of deal? Which gets us to today’s society and state of harmony.
Within our culture, there is anything but harmony. There is a chaos of discord from anything and everything, even down to the cartoons we grew up watching or the books we grew up reading. How do we live in harmony when there is disharmony all around us?
According to Paul, I think it is having an honest conversation with what is our posture? Being honest with our arrogance and how we see ourselves or our views towards others. It is having the courage to actually “see” the other people in our lives that don’t look like us or act like us. Which is ultimately what Jesus did with the woman who was caught in adultery (John 8:1-11).
The Pharisees couldn’t see the woman, they only saw her sin, but Jesus saw it all and challenged it. In that story what was Jesus’ posture? He was brought low, he knelt. He also saw the woman and invited her into more. Which really leads us to our response with others, because Jesus invited her into more, it’s not up to us to have people think, feel and act like we do. Can we trust the Holy Spirit that it isn’t about getting the argument, discussion, viewpoint, or political opinion right, as much as it is having our lives be led with love and grace versus fear and shame.
C.S. Lewis put it this way, “If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think, tell him the first step. The first step is to realize that one is proud. And a biggish step, too. At least, nothing whatever can be done before it. If you think you are not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed.” Harmony with others starts with our posture, acknowledge our arrogance, give it over to God, see beyond ourselves to see those who are different and trust the Holy Spirit for the words of love and grace, not fear and shame. Harmony with others is led by honest humility.
Heavenly Father, may I be honest with you in my arrogance. Yes, I like to be in control and set the right course of action. May I continue to be brought low, under your authority so you and you along, may lead my days. Help me to see “others” the way you see them. May I be led with the same love and grace you offer me.” In Jesus’ name, amen!
– Acknowledge your arrogance and give it over to God.
– See beyond yourself to those who think, feel and act different.
– Trust the Holy Spirit for words, because love and grace changes others, not fear and shame.
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