So often when I think of what is expected by the Christian church, and even as perceived from those outside, is a misunderstood humility. An extreme example are those who live a monastic life. God does not call us to live without, but he calls us not to be dependent on our physical belongings. When Jesus told the rich man to give up his wealth, he was asking the man to put God before his possessions. This was not a requirement to be without, but an example of where our priorities should lie.
I feel that who I am supposed to be "as a Christian" is also influenced at times by this mis-perception: that as a Christian, many people feel I should not want earthly possessions, and if I do, then I need to pray about that. It is okay to want things, but the deeper desires, those for God should overpower the smaller earthly desires. And I would say this is true of myself. Yesterday I said, "I would like to have a nice home with nice furnishings, but relationship is more important to me; I would give up the nice stuff to be able to be with those I love and to be in a place where I can minister." (on a side note, I used to think I had to have a nice place to minister. Now I know it doesn't matter where I am.)
So all this to get to a verse I read in 2 Timothy. It says that we are like a home containing wood and gold items, and God wants to remove the wood. This caught me off guard. Personally I feel there is so much emphasis on being low, that I would have thought we would be all wood. But instead God wants to make us into something precious and pure. All this is to say that I often miss this point. Humility is not something that should be self-degrading, but it should be honest. As my example given above, I do think I need to pray about my perception of "stuff." I often mess up when it comes to (what I mistakenly see as) my things. Humility is admitting that, and glorifying God for the times when my perspective is not messed up. I need to see myself the way God sees me, as redeemed through Jesus' blood, and an heir to his kingdom. God values me and wants me to be someone of value.
2 Timothy 20-21: 20In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. 21If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
Oh, to add to my list...
8 years ago