Tag Archive | humble

NOT TO RULE BUT TO SERVE (Guest Post)

 

Realizing or not, humans love to be respected, appreciated, and even feared by others. In varying degrees, there is satisfaction when humans are able to rule and control others, whether with charisma or with the authority they have. Some people sincerely want to be a blessing to others, but others pursue a certain position to fulfill their needs for influence and power. There are also those who initially start leadership with the right motivation, but feeling satisfied and comfortable when respected and served, can slowly shift their sincerity and humility into pride. Accustomed to being respected by others can make us assume ourselves higher than others if we don’t take care of our hearts.

Leadership in the church isn’t immune to such attitudes. As leaders at any level in ecclesiastical ministry, we must remain vigilant so as not to fall into arrogance which could be changes our hearts from the heart of a Christ’s servant to the heart of a ruler. On the other hand, as a church congregation we should not put too much admiration and hope on our spiritual leaders so that we don’t fall into the sin of idolatry. As great as our spiritual leaders, God must accept the highest admiration from us and God must be the only source of our hope. Because what makes our leaders great isn’t their ability but the power of the Holy Spirit that works within them.

TO BE A SERVANT AND A SLAVE

In Matthew 20: 20-28, once James’ mother and John’s mother made a request to Jesus that Jesus give their children a position on His right and left in His Kingdom. In other words, they want to be given a power to rule. Lord Jesus gave a very interesting answer using a comparison of TWO TERMS:

Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.

Not so with you. Instead, whoever WANTS to become GREAT among you MUST BE your SERVANT,

and whoever WANTS to be FIRST MUST BE your SLAVE—

just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”(Matthew 20:25-28 NIV)

There are TWO COMPARISONS in the statement of the Lord Jesus: 1) whoever WANTS to become GREAT among you MUST BE your SERVANT, and 2) whoever WANTS to be FIRST MUST BE your SLAVE.

In the first comparison: “GREAT” refers to people who are influential and have certain powers within a certain scope. And “SERVANT” in the original language uses the word “DIAKONOS” which means people who are in charge of serving or emphasizing humility to serve others.

In the second comparison: “FIRST” refers to a person with the highest position, occupying the most important or most respected position. “SLAVE” in the original language uses the word “DOULOS” which means metaphorically someone who is completely under the will and authority of others.

If we paraphrase, this is what Jesus’ said: “He who wants to be a great or powerful and influential person must become a servant who always serves the needs of others, and whoever wants to be the most respected and highest position he must surrender himself to become a slave who willingly places himself to do the will of his master.”

Note that the HIGHER a position someone wants to achieve, the LOWER he must position himself! This is the principle of leadership in the Kingdom of God.

HUMILITY COMES BEFORE HONOR

“Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.” (Proverbs 18:12 NIV)

Humility comes before honor. This principle cannot be reversed. If we pursue honor without first learning to humble ourselves, then we will become authoritarian leaders and don’t respect others. It’s not impossible in the end we also don’t respect God. God doesn’t set us to be leaders and then we must be willing to serve others. Not like that. But, the first we are a servant of Christ then He calls us to be a leader: We are a servant of Christ who called as leaders.

The proof of humility comes before honor is the Lord Jesus himself:

“Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and TOOK ON THE STATUS OF A SLAVE (DOULOS), became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.” (Philippians 2:5-8 The Message)

The Lord Jesus humbled himself and was willing to position himself as a slave who was subject to the will of the Father to die on the Cross. The result is that Jesus was greatly exalted by God the Father:

“Therefore GOD EXALTED HIM TO THE HIGHEST PLACE  and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, TO THE GLORY OF GOD THE FATHER.” (Philippians 2:9-11 NIV)

The last sentence is really interesting. Paul, an apostle who led and anointed by the Holy Spirit to write a large part of the New Testament, stated that the Lord Jesus was exalted not for the glory of Jesus himself, but for the Glory of God, the Father. This kind of humility is what we must have. Whatever achievements and successes we reach out, we must always return all praises to the glory of God the Father, not take credit points for ourselves!

SLAVES TO RIGHTEOUSNESS

Like the Lord Jesus who humbly took on the status of a slave (doulos) who was willing to surrender himself to carry out the will of the Father, so we are.

“But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become SLAVES (DOULOS) TO RIGHTEOUSNESS.” (Romans 6:17-18 NIV)

We have been redeemed from sin and paid in full through His sacrifice. We no longer have the right to live for ourselves, but we must be “a slaves to the righteousness” namely “slaves” who are fully obedient to do all the word of God which is the highest truth. Being a slave to the righteousness means we always crucify our flesh, including our pride and selfishness, to always submit to the will of Christ. Only by continuing to submit to Christ, we are continually processed and trained to be humble so that we can serve God and others according to His commands. Thus we can become leaders in accordance with the standards of God’s Kingdom, that is NOT TO RULE, BUT TO SERVE!

The road to humility isn’t easy and unpopular. Often we have to be willing to take off our “robe of greatness” then wrap a towel to our waist to wash our fellow feet. We can no longer say “Here I am, look at me”, but must always be humble ourselves and say “All glory to God the Father”.

May this Lord’s message to the Philippians also speak strongly in our hearts: Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (Philippians 2:1-4 NIV)

 

AMEN

 

By: Sella Irene – Beautiful Words

Photo Credit: Google Images (edited with pixlr apps)

Living in Humility

Living in Humility -Karina's thought-Paul Militaru

 

Some time ago when I was walking around in the shopping mall accidentally I met an old friend when was in college. I am so excited met her because been many years I have not hear news about her. Afterwards we were deep in exciting conversation. We were talk about many things. But after a while, I felt there was something different from her. I heard sound of arrogance in every of her words.  There was her sayings that really show her arrogance when we talked about business, “If you have a problem in business, you can come to me for help. Now with the position and authority that I have, I can do anything. I can change everything from impossible become possible!”

Honestly I  really sad to saw her changed drastically. I knew her very well before.  A meek young college girl even there was an impression of inferiority. But now she totally changed become an arrogant and snobby woman. Even worse, it seems she was not aware of the changes that happened to him. He felt all she did was reasonable. My husband said to me, “That’s one of the human weaknesses. Many people when they have a great success they could change drastically. When they have high position and powers, they turned out to be an arrogant person. They are forget that it all just a blessing from God”

Of what happened with my friend, I am increasingly aware why in the Christian life God many times advised us to always being humble and always live in humility. As God through Paul advised the Ephesians,

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:2)

 To the Philippians God advised,

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, (Philippians 2:3)

And to the Colossians God said,

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. ( Colossians 3:12)

There are many more advice to always be humble, and this is very important because  “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble” (James 4:6)

I am reminded of the story of Joshua when he wanted to lead the Israelites to cross the Jordan. (Joshua 3:1-17) God spoke to Joshua before entering the Jordan,

“Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses.” (Joshua 3:7)

After Joshua receive God’s message, he was immediately conveyed it to the Israelites. Let us pay attention to what Joshua said to the Israelites, he said,

This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites (Verse 10)

Please note, Joshua did not say, look, today you all will see how the Lord rearing my name, exalt me among you  …” Joshua did not say, “Here I am! I am the chosen, higher than all of you, and if you survived it all that because of me.”  Not at all! What Joshua said is,” This is how you will know that the living God is among you…” When I pondering this story I found and see Joshua’s humility. Joshua remains being humble because he was fully aware that it is not because his great or strong power Israelites would have crossed the Jordan, but because of God’s care. Joshua focused not on himself but to God. The focus is only to the God that glorified in all things have ever, is and will happen. Joshua did not take over of what is become God’s right. Furthermore, Joshua also explained in detail how they should to cross (Verse 11-13), and that he did to show that what will happen is not a simply coincidence, or not because of the greatness of Israel or himself, but because there is the power of God that works to protect and save them.

Now let we look at a story which opposite with the story of Joshua. Let’s see to the story of Korah. Initially, Korah was a quite influential leader at the time when the Israelites came out from Egypt. As with other Levites, Korah trusted to do the work in the tabernacle of the Lord and has a duty to serve the people. With such a status Korah automatically got a higher trust compared the other Israelites. It was such an honor and a big responsibility. Yet the fact was, Korah fell into the rebellion sin. He became oblivious to the essence of trust which God has given to him after success. He appreciates himself excessively and then fails to recognize the limits that God has set for him. He forgot to what became the line of his duty and he became arrogant.  He was plotting a rebellion.

And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown: (Number 16:2)

Why did he rebel? Because he felt himself great above others and thirst for positions.  Then Moses rebuked Korah,

Isn’t it enough for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the rest of the Israelite community and brought you near himself to do the work at the Lord’s tabernacle and to stand before the community and minister to them? He has brought you and all your fellow Levites near himself, but now you are trying to get the priesthood too (Numbers 16:9-10)

Arrogance made them forget that they are actually not opposed Moses and Aaron alone but God who has outlined immediately like what they have to walk. And what happens next was very fatal. The wrath of God came upon them and the destruction was befalling them.

And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households, and all those associated with Korah, together with their possessions. They went down alive into the realm of the dead, with everything they owned; the earth closed over them, and they perished and were gone from the community. (Numbers 16:32-33)

Korah and his people eventually perish, down alive into the realm of the dead. It is God’s punishment for the people who are arrogant and dared against to God. And this is a warning to us not to be destroyed caused by our pride.

The earth opened its mouth and swallowed them along with Korah, whose followers died when the fire devoured the 250 men. And they served as a warning sign. (Numbers 26:10)

In everyday life we could found those who extremely changed just because they reached great success, have a high position and authority, feel the most powerful and can do anything. As a Christian, when God blesses us with success and was entrusted with full authority whether we would to be like them change drastically become arrogant and forget the essence of the trust that has been given by God? Today we could learn from these two stories. Whether we want to be like Joshua who was always focused on God and not take over what is become God’s right? Remain humble because he was fully aware that it was not as great or strong his power the Israelites would have crossed the Jordan, but due to the God’s power. Or we want to be like Korah who appreciates himself excessively and become an arrogant person, thirst for the position and honor, wanted to go beyond the limits that God has set for him, and eventually just got God’s wrath?

My dearest friends, this time please allow me to encourage all of you to always remember that everything that we have is only from God alone. Success, position, honor, affluence, authority, it all is just because blessings from God. Always remember to not steal the God’s glory and do not snatch the right of God to boast ourselves as written in Jeremiah,

Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” (Jeremiah 9:23-24)

Please always remember that we saved to save, we are blessed to be a blessing not to be a stumbling block. All of blessing that we have received is not use to boast ourselves but merely for the channel of blessings for others and just for God’s Glory. Without God we are nothing!

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John15:5)

 Do not be oblivious and feel that we are the greater than other then forget and steal the glory which becomes God’s right. When we become successful  let’s keep it well, continue to being humble, bless others over and over again and continue to glorify God.  Do not feel we can do anything just because Intelligence, talent or expertise or even a chance to succeed are only comes from the God’s grace. Amen.

For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! (Romans 11:36)

Karina – Living by faith

Photo by Paul Militaru http://photopaulm.com

 

 

 

 

Living in The Meekness

Ephesians 4 2 Sue Nash

 

Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of his covenant. Psalm 25:8-10

Today one of my friends asked me to write an article with topic of meekness. Interesting!  And as long as I am active in the blog, I rarely write about it. I think meekness is one of the aspects which are quite important in our lives, especially in our Christian lives. And here’s a bit of my thoughts about meekness.

From an early age in our society we are taught from many media such as television, books, news and well-meaning relatives that we must always have the upper hand or we will be seen as weak. We may have been told that we cannot be seen as an effective worker, parent, teen or whatever if we do not express ourselves with pride and forcefulness.

The bible teaches something entirely different. God says that one of the characteristics we should have is meekness. What does it mean to be meek? Meekness is a gentleness or kindness seen in a person’s character. It can be shown through humility, patience, and restraint. A meek man has greater strength than the prideful man. God tells us that Moses was a meek man and that he was above all men that were upon the face of the earth. Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth. (Number 12:3)

Christians develop a different attitude towards others and circumstances. There is an understanding of God’s view of the lost and a Godly sorrow for their state. When we exercise patience with others and treat them with kindness, God is pleased. God does not approve of pride in the life or a believer and there are consequences to pride. Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverb 16:18)

Through Bible reading or study and prayer we are as a Christian develops a stronger foundation to use a guideline for our lives. As we grow in our Christian life we seek humility and gentleness when dealing with the world. God has clearly stated that He will guide the meek and teach them.

When we are talking to our peers at the office or where ever we are, do we boast of our own accomplishments? Do we put all our faith in our knowledge and little in God’s wisdom? Be honest with ourselves about whether pride is in the forefront of our actions. Ask to God to help us to be humble and meek. Paul many times talks about meekness.

 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (Ephesians 4:2)

 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (Colossians 3:12)

 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. (1Timothy 6:11)

Gentleness and patience, it was repeated by the apostle who formerly known as the butcher of believers but then transformed so radically in a very short time.Even Jesus himself said: “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you”. (Luke 6:27-28)

My dear lovely readers, if we already have a character of meekness? When we see someone suffering do we offer our support or pray for them? If someone tries to make us angry, criticizes us or picks on us, do we show restraint and avoid further confrontation? When we are witnessing to the lost, do we talk to them with a gentle spirit and kindness? As a Christian, it is time for us to continually improving our meekness. So through our meekness others will see and feel God’s love and wisdom. Ask to the Lord continuously to give us the strength to continue to be humble, gentle, and kind. Amen.

Karina – Living in the meekness.

Photo credit: Sue Nash.  http://heavenlyraindrops.wordpress.com

Lord, Teach Us

prayer 2

Dear Lord  Jesus Christ in Heaven,

Teach us to always being humble, as you have humbled yourself on the cross.

Let the arrogances become our biggest enemy, wipe it, turn it into the lowliness,

so that through our  humility, people can see the light of Your love and mercy

Teach us to not standing on our own greatness and pride,

so we always walk on you mightiness ,not on our conceitedness.

Dear Lord in Heaven,

make us to become the light of Your humility, so that people can see how great You are.

Let only Your name be glorified and exalted upon the universe.

Teach us so that our lives are full of lowliness; lift all of our conceit and vanity.

Dear Lord, with Your loving kindness, teach us always… Amen

Karina

Photo credit: wikimedia

Walk Humbly Before God

washing.feet2“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”. (1Peter 5:6-7)

This evening I would like to share my thought about being humble (Long time ago, when I was teen I had a serious problem with this. Read my old post about ups and down as a single daughter). My parents implemented some rules in the family and these rules should to keep in our mind and should have to do in our daily lives. The first rule is: always walk in God’s way (this is the most important rule). The other one of them is: always being humble! My parents always remind me about this matter.

I do not know how many times (maybe hundred times) they always remind me to always being humble. I always remember my dad giving me a thought to never being arrogant but always to be humble person. He said: “although we are very rich, have houses and luxury cars, have a lot of money, all of it will become meaningless when we die. At that time, our bodies only placed on a box of coffin and simply taken by an ambulance. All the treasures that we have will not go with us. So don’t be arrogant with everything we have. Do not proud with wealth and luxury things because all of those things are blessing from God and belonging to God.”

Thus says the Lord:“Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; (Jeremiah 9:23).

The Bible verse in the first paragraph shows what God wants from us. What does it mean to be humble? Being humble is the opposite of being proud. Pride says “I have done it all myself.” Humility says “Every good gift I have was given to me by God.” Pride says “I am the king of the world.” Humility says “Jesus Christ is King of Kings and Lord of Lords and I am His servant.”

Pride says “I am the best.” Humility says “Let me prefer others above myself and give to others.” Pride and selfishness say “It is all about me.” Humility says “My time on earth is short; let God love others through me.” Pride says “What has been given to me is all for me to use and enjoy.” Humility and love say “What has been given to me is for me to bless others as well as to enjoy.”

We have two points from the comparison above. First, in Christian lives, every our actions always refer to the greatness and mightiness of God and humble person always puts himself into a servant. The 2nd point, a humble person is always tried to be a blessing to others. They always wanted other people feel the blessing that they received.

This Bible verses below can be used as an afterthought to us to always being humble. In practice is not easy to being humble but we all know that there is nothing impossible in God. Let God give us strength to always being humble. Jesus Christ our Lord already humbled himself when He rinses His disciples’ feet and died on the cross. So why we not start to humble ourselves as He did. Are we ready?

 “Let this mind be in you which was also in   Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:5 – 11).

O God, who resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble: grant us the virtue of true humility, where of Your Only-begotten son showed in Himself a pattern for Your faithful; that we may never by our pride provoke Your anger, but rather by our meekness receive the riches of Your grace.

 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace( Psalm 37:11)

Karina

Photo credit: http://www.squidoo.com

 

A story of music conductor

 

This story inspired by a sermon that I had heard some time ago. I tried to create it into a short story.

At the end of a classical music concert. The audience stood up and applauded. Conductor of the orchestra got a tremendous standing ovation. But there is somethingunusual. The conductor did not immediately respond the terrific standing applause. Hejust stood up not pay homage tothe audience. The audience kept clapped loudly. The orchestra player getting a bit confused.

Conductor’s eyes swept across the concert hall. He’s looking for something. And finally his eyes fixed on the rear seat. There is someone there. And old man with white hair. The conductorstaredintothe old man.  Not long after, the old man smiled and nodded from a distance.  The conductorsmiled back and nodded too.  Then, soon helookedaround to the concert hall. He bowed a moment to salute the audience.

After the concert, the conductor assistant came and asks him…

“What happens toyou, sir?  You are not goingto salutethe audience. Is there something wrong? “

The Conductor smiled and said “Ok… Now I am going to tell you why. Actually I don’t have the courage to do so, because there is someone who more worthy than me that should get laud from the audience. He is my music teacher. Because of him I could be a good music conductor. He form andteach mewith all his heartand patience. He nevercomplained orangrywhenI often makea mistake.  I just dare a salute to the audience after he smiled and nodded. Ido notdare toprecedehim “

.” The essence of the story is, we should stay humble despite the successes we’ve achieved. We should keep our feet on the ground because the world is filled with many talented people whom exceed our own capabilities. We should also realize that we owe our successes to others who continue to support and motivate us throughout our journey. Lastly and the most important key is, God is the one who helps and gives us everything in our lives. Therefore we should remember that and do not take things for granted.

Author : Karina Susanto

 

Story to humble ourselves

 

Deep tiredly started The Discussion:

I was parked in front of the mall wiping off my car. I had just come from the car wash and was waiting for my husband to get out of work.

Coming my way from across the parking lot was what society would
consider a bum. From the looks of him, he had no car, no home, no clean clothes, and no money. There are times when you feel generous but there are other times that you just don’t want to be bothered. This was one of those “don’t want to be bothered times.”

“I hope he doesn’t ask me for any money,” I thought. He didn’t. He came and sat on the curb in front of the bus stop but he didn’t look like he could have enough money to even ride the bus.

After a few minutes he spoke. “That’s a very pretty car,” he said.

I said, “Thanks,” and continued wiping off my car. He sat there quietly as I worked. The expected plea for money never came.

As the silence between us widened something inside said, “ask him if he needs any help.” I was sure that he would say “yes” but I held true to the inner voice.

“Do you need any help?” I asked.

He answered in three simple but profound words that I shall never forget.

I expected nothing but an outstretched grimy hand. He spoke the three words that shook me.

“Don’t we all?” he said.

I was feeling high and mighty, successful and important, above a bum in the street, until those three words hit me like a twelve gauge shotgun.

Don’t we all?

I needed help. Maybe not for bus fare or a place to sleep, but I
needed help. I reached in my wallet and gave him not only enough for bus fare, but enough to get a warm meal and shelter for the day.

We often look for wisdom in great men and women. We expect it from
those of higher learning and accomplishments.

No matter how much you have, no matter how much you have accomplished, you need help too.

No matter how little you have, no matter how loaded you are with problems, even without money or a place to sleep, you can give help.

Even if it’s just a compliment, you can give that.

Maybe the man was just a homeless stranger wandering the streets. Maybe he was more than that……