January 26, 2015

Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom.

Japanese has multiple words for pride, with different nuances. The term here is inflated, puffed up, rather than pride of accomplishment. We’ve all seen this verse in action. Someone who is puffed up is sooner or later going to be deflated! Gratitude for what God has enabled us to do is not wrong, but we’ve got to remember what Paul said in Romans 12:3. “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.” Genuine humility doesn’t say, “I can do nothing,” but rather, “I can do what God enables me to do.” We get into trouble when we forget that it is only by God’s grace that we can do anything, but it is also problematical when we refuse to recognize what God has enabled us to do. In English we use the term “self confidence,” but I don’t care for the “self” in that. We should have confidence, assurance, of what God has placed in us, but we must be careful to give God the glory, not only externally but in our own thoughts and feelings. God knows our hearts even better than we do, and He can discern our true motives.

This has been a continuing struggle for me, because God has given me a wide range of abilities, in just about every area except sports. The whole question of stewardship has haunted me, because I have had to choose which abilities to exercise and which to allow to lie dormant. Any ability takes work to rise to a high level, and I feel like I have been rather lazy. I need to have the humility to ask God what to do with each ability, each opportunity, and the faithfulness to follow through with whatever He shows me. Everything He has given me has a purpose in His plan, and I need to seek Him so as to fulfill that purpose and follow His plan.

Father, thank You again for Your grace. I haven’t earned any of the things You’ve given me, and yet You have given me so much. May I walk constantly in the obedient gratitude You desire and deserve, so that Your Name may be hallowed and Your kingdom come as Your will is done. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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