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Posts Tagged ‘pride’

We have an enemy.  He is smart and clever, very crafty.

Torn-Apart

He knows the Scripture: “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” And he uses it well.

So he comes against strong servants of God, attacks where they don’t even know they are weak, and they crumble and fall.  Families are torn apart, God’s people are confused and oh so hurt, and the name of God is slandered.

That enemy also knows that God says oneness among His children is a sure sign that the Father sent Jesus to redeem us.

So he comes among friends and coworkers and sows mistrust and conflict. (more…)

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On the first Monday of each month when my children were in high school, I wrote a letter to them describing a secret of success in life.  Recently I compiled a year’s worth of secrets into a small book. Letters to My Children: Secrets of Success is a great gift for graduates and a practical study for youth groups.  To give you a glimpse, I posted Secret #6 here.

Humility is one of the most important and most attractive qualities a person can have. Humility can be defined as having a right view of God, yourself, and others.

1. Have a right view God.

Like most of us, you may have much too small of an understanding of who God is. He is the most high God (Daniel 4:24, 34); the Almighty One (Genesis 17:1); the Creator of everything (Genesis 14:19, 22 and Colossians 1:16). He is your loving Father, but He is also the all-powerful Ruler of the universe.

2. Have a right view of yourself.

Each of us is actually a paradox. Compared to God you are nothing. Yet you are also of incredible value because you are made in God’s image and worth the price of Jesus’ life. Despite your high value, God clearly wants you to walk in humility, not pride. The Bible warns about pride (Matthew 23:2; Proverbs 8:13; 11:2; 16:18; I Peter 5:5) and commands you to humble yourself (I Peter 5:6;

Colossians 3:12; Ephesians 4:2). Scripture promises many benefits when you walk in humility: grace (Proverbs 3:34), guidance (Psalm 25:9), wisdom (Proverbs 11:2), honor (Proverbs 15:33), and many more.

3. Have a right view of others.

Success in life depends on success in relationships. Nothing will contribute more to successful relationships than being humble, respectful and loving toward others. God desires you to consider others better than yourself (Philippians 2:3-4), to honor others above yourself (Romans 12:10), and to treat others as you want to be treated (Matthew 7:12).

My prayer is that you will increasingly find joy, friendship, and success as you walk humbly before God and others.

What about you? Do you need work on your views?

c2011 Judy Douglass

Letters to My Children: Secrets of Success is available from New Life Resources.

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I’m hanging out with my grandboys this weekend—so fun.

I am reminded once again that living with children is a never-ending effort to help them learn how to treat other people:

“What do you say?” “Please.” “Thank you.”  “I’m sorry.”  “Let’s share.”

It doesn’t come naturally for people—we have to be taught.

Scripture is filled with instructions on how we are to relate to other people.  Romans 12 especially focuses on how we treat the “one anothers” in our lives.

Here are five key relationship encouragers:

1.  Love one another.

Romans 12:9,10a:  Love must be sincere…. Be devoted to one another in love.

Jesus told us we should love God and others.   Paul says our love must be sincere—genuine, without hypocrisy, the real thing.  Real love is unconditional:  You can’t earn it, you can’t lose it, you can’t stop it and you don’t have to return it.

Of course, when it’s real love, you want to receive it and return it.

  

2.    Prefer one another

Romans 12:10b,16:  Honor one another above yourselves…. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.  Do not be conceited.

Not just “honor one another” but “above yourselves.”  How much we are willing to put the interests or recognition of others above our own speaks loudly about our pride or humility.  Do we care who gets the credit?  Is the most popular?  Are we happy when others do well?

3.    Serve one another

Romans 12:11-13:  Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Jesus reminded us on the night before he died for us that He was our Lord and our Teacher, but also that He was a servant.   He reminded us that we should follow His example and serve others—and that we would be blessed if we do.

I am so grateful for—and a little envious of—those with serving gifts.  I am truly blessed by their service, but I wish it came so easily for me to serve.

My experience is that God will give us plenty of opportunities to practice and grow.

 

 

4.    Bless one another

Romans 12:14,15,17:  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.  Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.  Do not repay anyone evil for evil.

I used to think “blessing” was kind of old fashioned, for little old ladies.  Notwithstanding my age, I now think it is one of the most important things I do.  It’s great to “be a blessing to someone,” but even better to be intentional about blessing others.

The hardest and best is to bless your enemies—those who hate, or mistreat, or hurt or even just irritate you.  Bless them.

 

5.    Be at peace with one another

Romans 12:16,18:  Live in harmony with one another…. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Watching children helps us to see how easy it is to be at odds with someone else.   The slightest little thing leads to anger or tears.  Unfortunately, we are often not very different from children.

So many times I have said to my children—and to myself:  You can’t control what others do or say.  You can only control yourself.

And in that choice, we can make the difference between war and peace.

 

Jesus sums up how we should treat the “one anothers” in our lives two other ways:

     Treat others the way you want to be treated.

     Treat others the way I did—laying down my life for them.

I am so grateful He sent His Spirit to live in me and enable me to live in this challenging, selfless way with the people of my life.

Which of these “one another” instructions is the most challenging for you?

c2012 Judy Douglass

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I’m a Texan.

Totally.

Legitimately.

My family helped settle the state.  On my mother’s side they came with the first wave of settlers led by the father of Stephen F Austin.  A grandfather of several great degrees fought in the battle of San Jacinto for Texas independence and helped chase down Gen. Santa Anna.  On my father’s side they came early to Dallas and contributed to the growth of that great city.

On our mother’s side we are Texan.

I haven’t lived in Texas in several decades, but if you ask my children about their heritage, they would say, “On our father’s side we are Swedish and on our mother’s side we are Texan.”  After all, we have a Texas room in our home.

I have always loved the statue of a John Wayne-look Texas Ranger at Love Field in Dallas. It carries this identifying slogan:  One Riot, One Ranger.

One Riot, One Ranger

I am in Texas right now, on one of my too seldom visits.  Had a Texas-shaped waffle for breakfast.  Stars are ubiquitous.  If I wanted to swim, I know I could find a Texas-shaped pool.  Many still think of it as the Republic it once was.

Our bragadocious reputation is well deserved.  It’s a rich heritage, if a bit too much for many.

I love my Texas legacy.

Another heritage

But I also have another heritage.

I’m a Christ follower.

His Kingdom is bigger than Texas.

Jesus paid an incredible price so I could join His family.  Even though I was a foreigner and alien—truly—my heavenly Father adopted me as His own daughter.  And conveyed to me all the privileges of God family membership.

With that invitation—I just had to accept it—I found brothers and sisters, friends and co-workers.  And I was given an amazing opportunity:  to join God’s Kingdom-building team.  To use my words gift to write and talk about this wonderful family.

Unfortunately, sometimes, some of the followers of Jesus sound a little too Texan.  Pride taken to an extreme.   Holier/better than others.  Even judgment of those not so privileged.

In reality, though, Jesus calls His followers to a different attitude. Truth and holiness, yes.  But He says we should also be marked by these qualities:  love, humility, kindness, gentleness, peace, grace, mercy….

And that is a heritage I am grateful for.

c 2011 Judy Douglass

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