That is the Question


By Dan Polecheck

Pride is concerned with who is right. Humility is concerned with what is right.

Pride is concerned with who is right.
Humility is concerned with what is right.

He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. – Colossians 1:28

Maturity or Immaturity? That is the question. Whether ’tis nobler to suffer the hurt and pains of criticism, or to take out the weapons of pride to do battle….Ay, there’s the rub! For in the correction of our worldly mistakes, we suffer the shame in front of our peers, but the certainty of failing to humble thyself, the wrath of the God we pursue shall be upon us.

I don’t think there is a person alive that likes to hear that they are wrong. As soon as we are that dirty little “p” word jumps up and bears its ugly head. Pride will help us to find fault in the person that so unfairly attacked us. Then we can feel better about ourselves.

Maturity helps us to handle these situations. But these actions don’t sound that mature. Probably because they are not. Our pride will always get us in trouble.

Throughout the Bible we can find passages that tell us to humble ourselves. God wants us to take our pride and get out of our own way so that we can work together with other individuals and become more mature Christians.

Age and social status don’t have anything to do with maturity. True maturity is reached when you reach your full potential and I can assure you that most of us are not quite there yet and we aren’t going to get there alone.

God wants us to work as a community to help each other, hold each other accountable, and humble ourselves so that we can accept the lessons that can be learned from listening to others.

Constructive criticism can be good or bad, depending upon how we receive it. But it does help us to reach the maturity that God wants to see in all of us.

A mature Christian will think more about helping another to achieve greatest than he does about the greatness for himself. Remember, our goal is not just to get to Heaven, but to help others get there also.

My apologies to the writings of William Shakespeare.

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Humble Thyself


humility

By Dan Polecheck

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor. – James 4:10

A man received a promotion to the position of Vice President of the company he worked for. The promotion went right to his head, and for weeks and weeks he bragged to anyone and everyone that would listen that he was now a Vice President. His wife, who was embarrassed by his behavior, said, “Listen Bob, this Vice President thing is not that big a deal. These days everyone is a vice president. They even have a Vice President of corn down at the supermarket!”

Being somewhat deflated, Bob called the local supermaket to find out if this was true. “Can I speak to the Vice President of carrots please?” he asked, to which the reply came: “Vice President of fresh or frozen?”

Have you ever let your pride get out of hand? Have you ever become a legend in your own mind? As much as I hate to admit it, I have. How do you go about humbling yourself so that your pride does not turn you away from God, but allows you to honor God with what He has helped you to accomplish.

There are several steps that can be taken to humble yourself:

Daily confess your sins to God. Every human being sins and falls short of honoring God. A daily review of our shortcomings and plea for forgiveness from God is a good first step toward humility.

Find an accountability partner and share your shortcomings with them. By humbling ourselves to others, it shows God that we are willing to be humble. It is imperative that your accountability partner be someone that you can trust.

Purposely and actively submit to those whom God has placed as authorities in your life. Doing so is a good way to humble yourself.

Calmly receive criticism and feedback. Thank them for caring enough about you by sharing the information. Pray and ask the Lord what He is trying to teach you through this.

Take on a servant attitude. If you find yourself wanting to be at the head of the table, step back and look at the reason you want that position. Is it because you want to serve, or that you want the glory?

Forgive quickly. Forgiveness is possibly one of the greatest acts of humility we can do and is a denial of self.

Develop an attitude of gratitude. A grateful heart is a humble heart.

Speak well of others. It builds them up and edifies them while glorifying God.

Commit to a lifestyle change. You must begin to die to yourself daily and begin living through Him. This is the foundation of humility.

Is this going to be easy? No. It will be hard, but we must realize that everything we do on this earth should be done to edify others and to glorify God.

Relate-Ability


Many times with friend or stranger
with impatience I have erred
by attempting to enlist them
before proving that I cared.

Full of fervor and of zeal,
I took no interest in their plight,
and pressed them for commitment
long before I’d earned the right.

Why am I not growing?
What secret have I missed?
What must I improve
if their will I’m to enlist?

How many have I pushed away
because I took no time
to listen to their dreams
before forcing on them mine?

Other times have I not recognized
one’s emptiness or pains,
and spurred them on for more effort,
focused only on my gain.

Though my call to arms be noble,
even grand beyond compare,
others won’t respond
if, for them, I do not care.

So from now I will correct
my approach and appeal,
halting all pressure,
even tempering my zeal.

With empathy, I will listen,
and resist the urge to speak:
The perspective of another
at all times I will seek.

For when my first concern
is for another point or pain,
’tis then I’ll earn respect
and their trust begin to gain.

Such is the only way
my circle will expand –
I must shine the focus off myself
and on my fellow man.

For ’tis only when another
is convinced that I care,
will they listen with interest
to the words I have to share.

Excerpts from The Proverbs of Leadership

Written by

Stevenson Willis