Putting Aside Arrogance and Embracing Humility

Luke 12:16-21 NKJV
Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” ‘ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”>

About three weeks ago, I returned from Virginia. I went there to take the last course of my doctorate program at Liberty University. During the week, part of the course was taught by Dr. Jill Jones, an education professor. A passionate Christian, Dr. Jones also reiterated over and over to us that our doctorate program would open many doors. She, well, bragged about how she had just published a woman’s devotional and was a speaker at many women’s retreats. It struck me oddly, actually, that she felt that God would reward her work on a secular degree with these accomplishments. There was basically a sense of arrogance with her passion.

I can relate. I have struggled with arrogance and a sense of superiority for many years and work hard to esteem others. However, putting aside arrogance and embracing humility is something very important to the Lord and thus, needs to be important to me. I need to listen more and talk less. Much less.

Yesterday morning early, Dr. Jones went Home to be with the Lord in a terrible auto accident. She was also joined in death by one of her teen sons. It made me think of this passage, not because I think she was the rich man accumulating for herself, but because we can never put stock into accomplishments in this life. What does it matter now that she did (or didn’t) write a book? In fact, I’m absolutely convinced that Dr. Jones herself doesn’t care at all this moment about her book or her doctorate, but instead is totally focused on sitting at the feet of the Savior she dearly loves!

Coincidentally (or perhaps not so much coincidence), the devotion in my Wesley book today spoke about focusing on today (rather than on the future) and laying hold of the grace God has provided for this day:

“Give all diligence today to add to your faith courage, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness and the fear of God, till you attain that pure and perfect love. Let these things be now in you and abound. In steadfast faith, in calm tranquility of spirit, in full assurance of hope, rejoicing evermore for what God has done, run the race set before you till, through perfect love, you enter into His glory!”

Yesterday, between times of dealing with the shock that one of my professors (yes, I am still enrolled in that class and she was still my current professor) is gone, I was also so struck with the fact that Jill is now in the presence of the Lord Jesus! What glory to close one’s eyes here, opening them in Heaven, in the presence of the Father. That is what we, as believers, should be focused on, should be living for, should be shouting from the mountaintops! We have a Hope and that Hope is the living Savior Who is, absolutely is, waiting for us in our eternal home. What is this here that we should fret about it? Simply living for today to minister to those around us, trusting the Lord to provide, is all we need to give our energy to. Tomorrow is taken care of by our blessed Lord and Savior. And someday, Jill, I’m going to join you at Home in Heaven. Until then, dear sister, enjoy your time face to face with our Savior!