Monday, November 5, 2012

Being Humble When it Hurts the Most



Your spouse may not always deserve your submission or respect.  They will make you mad!  It’s in those times, when you submit to your spouse humbly that it will affect them the most.  Chances are you will be burning with rage on the inside. Hopefully, if you have a Godly spouse they will see you are in turmoil, beat themselves up, and come back later and apologize.  This works both ways, that’s why I said spouse instead of husband!  I’ve come home mad at the world before and in a terrible mood.  I was griping at my wife unnecessarily.  She would have been totally justified in raising her voice and yelling back at me, but she didn’t.  She was humble and meek.  When she responded to me so honorably, it stopped me in my tracks and completely defused the situation.  It made me see how wrong I was.  She won the war by not fighting. 

Matthew 5:43-48
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[i] and hate your enemy.’ 44 I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. 

1 Peter 3:8-9
Finally, all [of you] should be of one and the same mind (united in spirit), sympathizing [with one another], loving [each other] as brethren [of one household], compassionate and courteous (tenderhearted and humble).9 Never return evil for evil or insult for insult (scolding, tongue-lashing, berating), but on the contrary blessing [praying for their welfare, happiness, and protection, and truly pitying and loving them]. For know that to this you have been called, that you may yourselves inherit a blessing [from God—that you may obtain a blessing as heirs, bringing welfare and happiness and protection].

Women, look at 1st Peter 3:1 [Husbands] may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives. The Holy Spirit can beat your husband up much worse than you can by nagging or yelling at him!  Can I get an Amen?  This is so true.  An example of this that I’m sure many of you can relate to is with your children.  One day one of our kids was acting up and had done something bad.  They had been acting up all day and pushing my limits.  I’m not as patient as my wife; although that’s something I’m working on and praying about.  So I did the typical thing… WHY DID YOU DO THAT?!  And my kid started crying and said “It was an accident daddy, I’m sorry.”  I could tell by her cry and the tone of her voice that it truly was an accident.  She felt bad about it, and raising my voice really hurt her feelings.  Man, talk about twisting the knife in my heart!  Her words of humility stopped me like a brick wall, and made me want to slam my head into one at the same time. I felt like such a jerk!  I picked her up and apologized.  It was one of those moments that I’ll never forget and made me want to be more patient in the future.  My daughter’s true humility and behavior broke my heart.

Men, I know you are macho and tough, but look what the bible says in the verse above.  Finally, all [of you] should be of one and the same mind (united in spirit), sympathizing [with one another], loving [each other] as brethren [of one household], compassionate and courteous (tenderhearted and humble).  Most of these behaviors are what we would associate with women.  Men don’t want to sympathize, love, be compassionate, or courteous, because that’s not what men do, right?  Wrong!  Where would we be if Jesus didn’t have those attributes?  Burning in hell, that’s where!

Romans 12:9-21 - Love in Action
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[c] Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[
e
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Being humble in the midst of suffering hurts badly and is opposite of the “me first” mentality that is so prevalent today.  It hurts so much worse when you know that you are undeserving of the pain you are feeling.  Try thinking of it as having an opportunity to love as Jesus loved and to suffer unjustly as he did.  Luke 23:34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Don’t fall victim to the prosperity gospel thinking.  Prosperity theology (sometimes referred to as the prosperity gospel or the health and wealth gospel)[A] is a Christian religious doctrine which claims the Bible teaches that financial blessing is the will of God for Christians. The doctrine teaches that faith, positive speech, and donations to Christian ministries will always increase one's material wealth.  –Wikipedia

I don’t see how this can be true.  Look at the life of Jesus and his disciples.  Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life and he was crucified on the cross.  His disciples were mostly all martyred, crucified, stoned, etc.  Just because you are a Christian doesn’t mean you won’t have problems!  Here is a great example.  "Thorn in the Flesh" is a colloquialism used to describe a chronic infirmity, annoyance, or trouble in one's life. It is most commonly used by Christians. The source of this expression is Paul of Tarsus, who uses it in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10: 

Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness." So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong. (NRSV) Thanks again Wikipedia!
To keep Paul from being exalted or proud, he was given a ‘thorn in the flesh’.  We don’t know exactly what the thorn was, and it doesn’t really matter.  We just know that it was something bad that he had to struggle against.  Paul asked God three times to remove it, and God would not.  So Paul was “good” enough to write most of the New Testament and yet God would not remove the thorn.  In the same way that God allowed Job to be tormented, he allowed Paul to be tormented in order to keep him humble and accomplish God’s will. God said "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness."  Power is made perfect in weakness, that’s good stuff!

I’ll leave you with this powerful song.  Praise God!
Through The Fire - Crabb Family
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdK-HUK6OhE

2 comments:

sleeickstories said...

"It hurts so much worse when you know that you are undeserving of the pain you are feeling"...this is so true &real. At this point it takes a more conscientious effort to endure. A greater effort to be a Virtuous Husband in that situation.

Thank you Virtuous Husband &Virtuous Wife.

Paisley Taylor said...

Soooooo good!!!! Thank you!!