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The Power of Humility

Years ago a friend of mine was struggling in his restaurant business due to some poor decisions that he had made.  Upon asking for my advice, God revealed to me in a vision one day exactly what my friend needed to do in order to reverse the situation and save his company.  Unfortunately, the first step required operating in a great deal of humility toward his family in order to carry out (no pun intended), but the man was sadly unwilling to comply and in time ended up losing his store and ruined his relationship with his family.  I truly believe if he had responded differently, much of this could have been avoided.

The Bible tells the story of another man who was in danger of losing, not just his business, but his entire kingdom due to a lapse of judgment.  This man’s name was David.

After conducting a secret affair with a married woman, David tried to cover up his initial moral lapse in judgment by having her husband killed on the battlefield.  With each poor choice, David’s sin became compounded; lust, sexual sin, murder, and now deception.  God then revealed his sin to the prophet Nathan and as a result the prophet warned David of God’s judgment and anger against him.  But David’s response was anything but ordinary.

With a seemingly contrite and repentant heart, David confesses, “I have sinned against the Lord.”  It was a simple sentence, but it demonstrated his heart for God.  As such, God spared David’s life and restored his place on the throne of Israel and Judah.  His deliverance was rooted in humility.

Thankfully today, as New Covenant believers, we possess an even greater covenant than David did.  Through the Cross, Christ bore in his body the penalty for sin, and we are now (as believers) no longer in danger of God’s judgment, but this doesn’t excuse the need for humility, nor strip it of its power.  In fact, humility is just as powerful today as it was for David.  Like my friend above, humility can make the difference between experiencing God’s deliverance or falling back into the fruit of our own efforts and works.

Humility offers a simple path to embracing God’s attitude and opinions, and acknowledging that as people, we don’t have it all together.  In the end, it’s one of the most empowering tools that we possess in the kingdom.  In fact, humility is the key to our salvation.  Although salvation is offered to us, by grace through faith, it takes humility to receive it in the first place. Only when our heart is humble can we acknowledge our need for a Savior.

Is God speaking to you today?  Is your heart soft enough to listen and humbly obey?


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Behavior Patterns that Prevent Transparency

As requested, I’m making some of my notes available from my message this past Sunday regarding behavior patterns that prevent transparency.  As I mentioned on Sunday, I’ve done ALL of these at some point in my life, and I’ve been some a lot more recent than I would like to admit.  I’m certain there are more that I’m yet to identify, but here are my top 12.

1.)     The Denier – This person chooses to remain ignorant of their failings hoping that others will do the same.  Their denial of their own reality causes them to live in complete fantasy about themselves.

2.)    The Justifier – This person gives some acknowledgement to their failings, but then immediately provides reason for why they did such. 

 3.)    The Blamer – Like the Justifier, they acknowledge their failings, but blame others as the cause or catalyst for such behavior.

4.)    The Concealor – This person is well aware of their faults, but does whatever they can to conceal and cover up their sin, hoping never to be discovered.

5.)    The Acknowledger – They give acknowledgment to their faults and struggles, and will even listen to your perspective, but that is as far as it ever goes.  No healing happens, and no progress is ever made.

6.)    The Offended – This person also acknowledges their struggles, but always finds some way of making you feel bad for pointing them out.  No help can be given, because your true heart is never received.

7.)    The Avoider – This person, well aware of their failings, will run from confrontation; doing anything they can to avoid talking about their problems.

8.)    The Talker – Honest with their feelings, this person will just keep talking about themselves, giving the appearance of transparency, but has no interest in your thoughts or feedback.

9.)    The Reciprocator – This person deals with people pointing out their faults by returning the favor, pointing out the faults of others, thus trying to state, “I’m not any worse than you are.”

10.)  The Fighter – To this person, all conflict is seen as provoking, and thus they give the other person what they perceive they want – a fight.

11.) The Confessor – This person is only transparent when they feel condemned…not being able to take it any longer, they run to the nearest person to confess their sins. 

12.)  The Distractor – This person uses circumstances and others to run interference for their lives, thus remaining under the radar of others scrutiny.

All of these behavioral tendencies are in complete opposition to transparency.  In conclusion, I believe that we would do well to acknowledge our own patterns that avoid transparency in our lives and to, as Paul urged the Corinthians, “open wide our hearts” to those who have our best interest in mind.  As Brennan Manning wrote, “A truly transparent person is nearly impossible to offend.”  How transparent are you?

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