As a family we started doing a daily bible devotional every morning at 6:40am. We’ve wanted to do one, but with our crazy schedules we haven’t been able to come up with a time. We want to not only talk the talk, but walk the walk as a family and keep God at the center of all of our lives. Rob suggested we start doing it before the kids go off to school. It’s worked out really well. We are using the family devotionals by Josh McDowell. We can get done in about 15 minutes with a prayer to wrap up our study and start our day.
Last week the theme for the week was dealing with Pride and Humility. Really great topic to discuss with any family. In this day and age, people don’t think twice about bragging about themselves. That’s not how God wants us to act at all. In my opinion, He wants us to do good things, feel good inside, but on the outside just keep giving Him the glory. He gives us the gifts and talents we have to do all that is good, so only He deserves the credit.
Vanessa, a new blog friend, recently wrote a couple of posts about self-esteem boosting agendas and how they can affect our faith negatively. I just thought it was really a God thing that as a family we had been studying the topic and she wrote about it in the same week. She makes some really great point with some bible verses that weren’t even covered during our study.
She had asked me which verses were covered in our lessons, so below I’ve outlined them.
All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble’ ~1 Peter 5:5
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. ~Romans 12:14-16
Both of these verses send home the reminder that we should not be conceited, for those that are humble will be given God’s grace. Who doesn’t want that? I love the way 1st Peter says “clothe yourself in humility.” That paints a vivid picture for me. I was thankful to learn of these verses in this light, because our boys are always on the defensive when they get in trouble. We always hear that it was not their fault or the other one started it. This is a trait of being conceited. Not being humble in the moment and accepting that they were wrong. It takes a humble person to admit when they are wrong. I just pray that Rob and I can
drill this into their heads continue to use these verses to stress the importance of knowing why we should admit when we’re wrong.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” ~Matthew 11:28-30
If I were to write a series of lessons on humility, this would be one I’d definitely cover in the beginning. God values humility because God himself was humble. Doesn’t that just say it all? God is always humble in heart and he never fails us.
Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. ~Deuteronomy 8:11-14
In these verses from Deuteronomy, we are reminded that pride closes our hearts to God, but humility opens our hearts to God. Monkey really “got” this one. He later told me that when your busy being proud of yourself, you’re thinking of who? “You!”, he said, “and not God. We gotta keep our eyes on God when we’re happy and sad.” He’s so stinking smart…sometimes.
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. ~Ephesians 4:1-3
In this lesson from Ephesians, God commands us to be humble, not proud. I see it all the time on Facebook from my friends and acquaintances. I’ve been guilty of it myself, as I’m sure most people have. Bragging about our children. Now I know FB is sometimes used as a brag board. I can in a way understand that, but we should all be mindful, especially in situations where your child tried out for something and made it. I’ve purposely held back from posting things on facebook when Teenager made the team and friends of his didn’t. It’s common courtesy and it’s God will for us to be kind and not boastful. As proud parents that can pose a challenge at times.
This is what the Lord says:
“Heaven is my throne,
and the earth is my footstool.
Where is the house you will build for me?
Where will my resting place be?
Has not my hand made all these things,
and so they came into being?”
declares the Lord. ~Isaiah 66:1-2
This was the last verse that we covered. It came from Isaiah, which really brought it in from a different angle. The take home message for this one is that God commands humility because God values humility. Humility is such an important trait to have and I think before this study I didn’t realize exactly how important it is, for all the reasons I’ve talked about above.
I’m so thankful that Rob thought of doing these studies every morning. Even if I do have to deal with a cranky teenager, I think we’re all benefiting from it. How do you keep God in the center of your lives?