Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Friends of Faith:
For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Lk 1: 11
God has a unique way of showing us right from wrong; of humbling us when we feel “good;” of guiding us on HIS path of righteousness; of asking us to learn His wisdom; of guiding us to understand others and of putting us in places which remind us to be more Christlike.
“My child, conduct your affairs with humility, and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts. Humble yourself the more, the greater you are, and you will find favor with God. What is too sublime for you, seek not, into things beyond your strength search not.” Sir 3: 17-18, 20
It isn’t easy to humble myself and let God determine if I have done right. I can’t just say I am saved and then make choices that are against God’s law; and being “good” doesn’t save me if I know that Christ wants me to profess to others His life (by living in His footsteps). So I must learn to be faithful and obedient, if that is what I profess to be. I must continue to pray (listen) to God, serve like Christ, discern through the Holy Spirit and ask His Church for guidance.
Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few people be saved?” He answered them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.” …. “For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.” Lk 13: 22-30
Like many people I want to be assured that I am saved. I want to know I am right. I have a tendency to judge myself as “deserving” salvation rather than learning the patience, humility and courage that comes from knowing that I must allow God alone to judge me and that I may not always get what I want. I may even have to suffer here on earth to receive the rewards in heaven for DOing the work of BEing a Christian.
“For they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love, yes they’ll know we are Christians by our love.”
God asks us not to love ourselves, but to make ourselves humble by loving Him and loving others.
Jesus could have been taken the crown of the righteous King of the Jews. Instead he bore a crown of thorns and died on the cross, showing us how to suffer, showing us how to give up everything we want and have by dying to our own selfish desires for the sake of others. And Jesus showed us how to love by allowing God to have the ultimate control that He modeled to us by doing the works of a Christian.
Jesus gave up everything because love doesn’t come from a feeling, love comes from a service, that of serving others, of serving those who have less. Love is shown when the first become last, when those who have give to those who don’t; when those who are first give to those who are last; and when those who have wisdom find compassion – seeking to understand the foolish and downtrodden.
Love is shown in families when we say “I’m sorry for hurting you;” “I will take care of you even when I have something else planned;” “for better, for worse; for richer for poorer; in sickness and in health;” and when we forgive “seven times seventy” the spouse or the child who continues to (by our standards) to make a mess (of their rooms, or their lives). THIS is true love. This is God’s love. This is how God teaches us right from wrong, humbles us and shows us the straight and narrow path.
Heavenly Father, Mold and fashion me into someone who trusts you with humble innocence and a childlike faith. May my faith be so strong that it obeys with courage when I am asked to put my own desires last and others needs first. Help me to find peace in being powerless and joy in giving others the hope of seeing beyond this life into the next. Amen.
Be humble. Be last. Serve others. God will not forsake, for eternal, not earthly, happiness is His promise.