The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled, and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day. For the LORD of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up–and it shall be brought low;
I finished Nancy Leigh DeMoss’s book, Brokenness, a couple of days ago. It is a book that I highly recommend if you are longing to walk humbly before your Creator. She gives great insight on why we should want brokenness in our lives, what a broken person’s life looks like, and how we can seek to be broken before God. And others. She emphasizes repeatedly that God intends for us to live “with the roof off and the walls down.” That is that we must be willing to confess our sins, struggles, failures, etc. to God and to others. As James says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed…”
I don’t know about you, but I find this to be really hard! I, like so many others, want to protect my reputation. And I want to protect the façade that I have created for myself. I don’t want share the sin areas that I struggle with. I worry about what others might think of me! But as DeMoss frequently points out, if we are truly broken, then we are not concerned about our own reputation, but about God’s.
I think about times that I have been in church and have considered going up to the altar to pray. This is something that I’ve only done a couple of times. Usually, I’m too concerned about what others think. Are others going to wonder what is going on in my life that I need extra prayer? Will someone assume that I’m dealing with some horrific sin?
There is nothing more joyful or more blessed than being right with God. And the only way to be right with Him is to let concern for reputation and appearance die. And allow desire for His reputation and appearance in life grow.
I got her point. I agreed with it wholeheartedly! And I immediately asked God to help me in this area. To give me the strength to humble myself before men as well as Him. One of the ways that God grows His children is through life circumstance. I thought about this and thought about my 5 year old. He is a wonderful child, but can be very difficult at times. We believe that he may be on the mild side of the scale for Asperger’s Syndrome (and likely inherited it from me!). He and I have struggled quite a bit over the last year in particular. So I was ready and willing to allow God to use my son to humble me.
However, God does not always do what we expect! Yes, He is using Ryan to teach me, change me, and grow me. But in the short-term He used someone else to bring me to my knees. I was confronted with something hurtful that I had done and I had a choice. I could choose to seek forgiveness or I could defend my honor. I did the very natural thing. I got defensive. I did not walk in humility. I didn’t seek to have God’s name and reputation made known. I tried to defend myself with logic and reasoning. That night I did get on my knees and ask forgiveness – for much more than the original incident! Later I did go back and seek forgiveness. But how I wish that I had made the righteous choice the first time! I am so thankful that God not only forgives us for our sins, but even uses them for His purposes!
I hope and pray that I will do better next time. And I intend to let the walls down. I intend to allow fellow believers to know the sin areas that I struggle with so that they may pray for me and hold me accountable. And I hope to be privileged enough to pray for others. To listen to the struggles of others without a spirit of judgment, but knowing that I am equally a sinner, equally forgiven, equally justified, and that we will one day be equally glorified with Him!