Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Opinions and Humility

My brother-in-law, Andrew, was in town last week, and we spent a lot of time talking about church and ministry (he's taking online Bible classes at the moment, and is moving in the direction of full-time ministry). He asked a lot of good questions and we had some great conversations. But after reflecting upon our talks, I caught something about myself that I didn't like: I spent a lot of time sharing how my ideas are awesome and how others should wholeheartedly follow them.

To be fair, we all think our opinions are right. (Otherwise we'd change 'em). But there's a difference between sharing one's opinion and imposing one's opinion on the rest of the world. It wasn't the ideas that I was sharing that were wrong, it was my heart and manner in which I was sharing them that needed correction. My own pride got mixed in with my desire to see God transform our world.

Perhaps the wake up call occurred was when I was reading a few blogs and articles online, especially this lively conversation happening at Beliefnet. I read comments and statements from people that were angry, spiteful, and downright inconsiderate. As I read those, I wondered, "how could a person get to this point where they're so prideful and angry?"

And then it hit me. I'm human, just like them. I'm capable of the same pride and arrogance. That attitude was creeping subtly into my own heart as I shared my opinions with Andrew. And it's probably not an instant flash of "now I'm humble," *BOOM!* "now I'm arrogant!" It comes from an ongoing inability to listen and learn from differing perspectives, a lack of seeking both grace and truth, choosing instead to embrace effrontery and self-righteousness. I don't want to end up being that angry commentor who spouts long passages of Scripture, that person who angrily leaves a church because they didn't do things my way, or the guy always willing to share my incredible ideas but never willing to take action or responsibility. And even in my unwillingness to go down that road, I must be careful to not become Pharisaical, becoming thankful that I'm not like "those sinners."

This isn't anything new; someone else said it better than I. To be fair (again), sometimes prophetic truth needs to be spoken and difficult actions need to be taken. But when I share my thoughts and opinions, I pray that my motives are of love and grace, not fear or pride.

1 comment:

  1. I am so thankful and blessed that I have a humble Godly man as a brother.