Sunday, April 18, 2010

Walking Humbly

I've been trying to synthesize all that I've been processing these past few days, mostly since being a part of a youth ministry coaching cohort in San Diego has given me more to ponder in two days than I could have learned in two years. I'm trying to understand what God is doing in my heart through it all. And Donald Miller helped.

Donald Miller spoke at a local church today, so I decided to take a group of college students to hear his thoughts. I'd given my youth staff his latest book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, a book that has shaped much of my outlook on life and spirituality. He was speaking on humility, and though I can only paraphrase his thoughts, he said something beautiful and true that was exactly what I needed to hear.

He said that trying to pursue humility was the wrong idea. When we pursue humility, we begin to focus more and more on ourselves, on trying really hard to be humble, or at least perceived as humble. This, ironically, only leads to arrogance and self-pride. Trying to be humble doesn't work. Instead, we're to pursue God and the things of God for our lives, and this in turn will actually transform us into increasingly humble people. It stems from Micah 6:8, that we walk humbly with God, allowing His Story to fully shape our story. When our eyes are more drawn to Him and not ourselves, our hearts begin to soften and humility naturally seeps in.

I've been blessed. I have a beautiful Godly wife, an uber-cute son, a job that I love at a church that is healthy, a great house in a wonderful neighborhood, and lots of other blessings. Yet I have recently worried a great deal about sharing these blessings with those around me for fear that I would appear boastful. If I shared about the ways God had been working, perhaps it would come across as arrogance, as if I deserved it all. I tried a great deal to appear humble, worrying that I would let pride sink in at any moment. I realize that my focus was in the wrong place, that in my pursuit of humility, I was actually losing sight of the God who blesses and the joyful gratitude that should come with those blessings.

I recognize the paradox of writing about humility on my own blog in the hopes that others will read my oh-so-insightful thoughts. Yet I am learning to hold these blessings with an open hand. I am learning to pursue God over humility. More than all of these, I am learning to be fully present in the season I am in, to enjoy my marriage and my son and my house and my ministry and my health, viewing them all as good gifts from a good Father.

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