Journal Entry ~ 11/13/17

40 he pours contempt on princes and makes them wander in trackless wastes; 41 but he raises up the needy out of affliction and makes their families like flocks.  - Psalm 107:40-41

He pours contempt on princes - this isn’t the only time we see God pouring contempt on nobility in scripture.  What is He trying to show us about people who rule over others?  Far too often, princes have an inflated sense of self-worth, and rule their kingdoms with an arrogant attitude toward self. In other words, they rule with a focus on what would bring themselves the greatest comfort or pleasure. God pours contempt on this type of attitude. He despises, or hates, those who rule this way. 

We all have a sphere of influence we rule over - could be our homes, our marriage, our children, our friends, our co-workers.  We all have a kingdom. Some may be larger than others, some may be more official than others, but we all have some sort of kingdom. How we rule that kingdom is important to God - He pours contempt on the way the world teaches us to rule others, and calls us to rule with an attitude of humility. 

We live in a materialistic, pleasure-seeking culture with a focus on accomplishment. We are told happiness is found in the job we have, the house we live in, that new pair of shoes, the accomplishments of our children, the vacations we take, how much money we have in the bank. As believers in Christ, we know what should be important to us.  We spend time in Scripture trying to right our values and bring them in line with what God call us to to, but the reality is you can’t live in this world without being influenced by it. We struggle to keep what God values as important - our very prayers end up taking on the values of this world. So, He reminds us over and over in Scripture that He calls us to live with an attitude of meekness and humility. 

This is in direct contrast to what the world teaches us is acceptable or right, but God specifically chose an attitude of humility as a way to demonstrate love toward another person. Everything about our current day tells us we have the right to a voice, and that meek is weak. We should stand up for our rights and be heard, and when offended, we should fight back. We have moved into an age where it is suddenly okay to assault one another with insults because we disagree, or to rise up over one another in a verbal challenge over a difference of opinions. When people feel wronged, they feel it is their right to respond with angry words and violent actions. Being humble is the opposite of this. It is in direct contrast to what the world dictates our response should be. Humility is gentle. It is a willingness to suffer the injustices that sin brings, even when we have been wronged. It is when we restrain our own power to respond, making room for others to have their way. 

The world views meek as weak, but anyone who has tried to practice a meek attitude knows it takes an incredible amount of strength and grace from God to choose a meek response when they have been wronged. Humility is in direct opposition to what the world teaches, and what our inner heart desires when responding, but it is what God calls us to do when we are loving one another.

The world would also have us think that having an attitude of humility or meekness is putting ourselves down or thinking less of ourselves, but that definition is still very "me" focused. When we are humble, we think of ourselves less and others more. Being humble means placing others in a position of authority over ourselves. When we've been slighted or overlooked, when we're being taken for granted, when we're misunderstood, a loving response would be to humbly let it go. We humbly let it go when we recognize the only reason we're upset is because we think we're more important than we really are. Our flesh will rise up constantly and tell us our views are right, that our opinions are best, and that our judgment is correct, but humbling ourselves means we are constantly fighting against this and pushing down those self-rising attitudes. Demonstrating humility is one of the most loving attitudes because it puts the needs and feelings of others over our own. 

God knows the battle in our hearts, and He knows it is only through the strength and grace of the Holy Spirit that we can respond with a meek attitude. Spending regular time in His Word brings us back to the place of humility and allows room for the Holy Spirit to work, but make no mistake about the fact that God will humble you if your life does not represent an attitude of humility. He has the power to take away all that makes you feel accomplished and important in the blink of an eye, but He does it only to bring you back to a place of valuing what’s truly important. Thankful this morning for the humbling experience of having my values re-prioritized in this diagnosis. 

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

Many of you know I have been trying to raise money to replace the uncomfortable caregiver's chairs in the infusion center at Illinois Cancer Specialists.  It is important to me that our caregivers are able to sit comfortably for hours while we receive our chemo treatments ~ we need our caregivers to be at their best so they can care for us at our worst.  Please consider donating ~ every little bit helps!  Here is the link:
 https://www.gofundme.com/chair4caregivers.  Thank you so much!!

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