Step 4

Humility is a Two-way StreetPremium Content


Submission
In John 13, Jesus washes the disciples’ feet. It’s a well-known story, a frequently referenced model for Christ’s attitude of humble service to others. But there’s another side to the story.

Foot-washing requires a foot to wash.

In the story, Peter initially refuses to allow his friend and teacher to perform such a menial, degrading task. Jesus replies that submission isn’t optional—it’s an essential element in the interaction.

I don’t think that’s an accident. You can’t force someone to receive an expression of intimacy. If it’s a true act of humble service, the one whose feet are washed must submit.

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It’s Awfully Easy to be JudgmentalPremium Content

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves. ~Carl Jung

He saw me glaring at him.

As he walked slowly and deliberately to his car in the handicapped-reserved space beside mine, I did everything possible to silently display my contempt. He obviously didn’t need that spot. I wanted to make sure he knew that I knew and that I disapproved.

I’m not sure why I felt the need to be the parking space police that morning. I was having a particularly hard time getting my chair situated beside my car, and I guess I wanted to vent my frustration on someone else.

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Toughest ForgivenessPremium Content

Forgiveness is giving up the possibility of a better past.
Is there someone you just can’t seem to forgive?

For some reason, forgiveness is on my mind lately. I’ve written a couple of posts (The Real Power Of Forgiveness and Forgiveness isn’t …) but it’s still poking at me. After some conversation with God (prayer) I realized that there’s one person I cannot quite seem to forgive.

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Are there Jebusites in Your Heart?

The king and his men marched to Jerusalem, to fight against the Jebusites who inhabited the land. 2 Samuel 5:6

The Jebusites still held a stronghold in the heart of the country, never having been dislodged. Just so, there are 'Jebusites' in every Christian heart!

In every heart, there are little 'Jebusite strongholds', which it seems impossible for us to conquer. Sometimes it is a secret sin which lives on, unconquered, amid the general holiness of a life. Sometimes it is a remnant of the old nature--such as pride, worldliness, selfishness, lust, or bitterness. There are many other such citadels of evil, which rear their proud towers and defy conquest.

What's Growing in the Garden of Your Heart?

Nothing tastes as good to me out of a garden as a tomato that has just been picked. I remember when I was young and living at home in Illinois, my Dad had planted a garden with tomatoes, green onions, bell peppers, cucumbers and other things which I can’t remember. When I ate one of those delicious tomatoes from the garden that he had just picked, it tasted so good. I would slice it and put a little sugar on it. However, there is another garden that has fruit which tastes a lot better to me and that is the garden of a Christian’s heart that has all of the fruits of the Spirit operating in his or her heart.

Are You Self-righteous without even Realizing It?

It is easy to go along in life thinking that we're okay. I know that there are times in my life when I deceive myself, thinking that I'm okay and following when the Lord when, if I were to be truly honest, I would know that isn't true. But the deception is so comfortable. It's much easier to convince myself that everything is okay between me and God then to come into His presence and ask His opinion.

Hebrews 4:12-13 NKJV

What is Your Heart Attitude?Premium Content

I am a fairly deceived and deceitful woman. Oh, it's not that I go about lying day after day. I do my best to be as honest as possible. But I think that I often deceive myself by lying about my own heart condition. Rather than spending time in prayer (who has time these days?) seeking God's will, I make my own decision, ask God to bless it, and then blissfully go on my way thinking that His "stamp of approval" (through my request) solves it all. And I think I'm not alone in this, but rather am surrounded by many. There are things that I think American Christians do, thinking we are doing the "right" thing, when what we are doing is actually rebellious and self-centered. We give . . . a little. We pray . . . a little. We respect . . . a little. We have compassion . . . a little.

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Keep Things in Perspective

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Mark 8:36

There is nothing like a trip to a cemetery to put our temporal lives in perspective. We live in an "it's all about me" world, and even as believers, it's easier than not to get caught up in that faulty mindset and quickly become overwhelmed with the urgency to fulfill my wants, my needs, my feelings, my desires.

Materialism depends upon just such an urgency; advertising appeals to it. If we could just win the lottery, write that bestseller, buy that bigger house, that fancier car, those name-brand clothes, we'd be happier, more fulfilled, more satisfied. And, of course, we'd serve God more wholeheartedly!

Time for a Heart CheckPremium Content

And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. Hebrews 9:27-28

Years ago I had my then preschool-age granddaughter with me when I made a stop at the cemetery to deliver some flowers. My granddaughter was naturally curious about what sort of place a "sembletery" was, so I did my best to explain. As we read a few markers and headstones, I told her what the dates meant, and we figured the ages of a few of the deceased.

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The Awakening for Women

A time comes in your life when you finally get it. When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out ENOUGH! Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shutter once or twice, you blink back your tears and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world through new eyes.

This is your awakening.

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