06 October 2010

divine belittling

It is part of the human equation that we often make others feel small, inadequate, and unimportant. In other words, we have a tendency to belittle one other. This is not considered proper behavior, and it is often the mark of unhealthy and broken relationships. So, it should not have to be stated that the Christian is not to engage in this activity, since we have been called to love our neighbors as ourselves.

I still notice, however, that even though we can restrain ourselves from belittling one another in many instances, there is still a good amount of nit-picking, hurtful speech, ill-spoken words, and the like that appear in our Christian circles. Probably this is because we still have a pride issue that persists on in our hearts. In other words, it would most likely do some good for us to be belittled every now and again. (Actually, we call this humility when we want to be spiritual about it.)

What I find disturbing is the amount of Christ-followers who are willing to be about the Lord's business in humbling others. Yes, despite many pointed statements to the contrary we fall into the trap of unduly criticizing one another and making them feel small and unimportant. Although I could continue with the pitfalls in this area, others have already done so and I wish to focus on the other half of the equation - the fact that our needed humiliation ought to come from God himself.

I found myself in this place just last evening when, as a discouraged and empty kingdom-worker I found myself being uplifted by the presence of God's Spirit working in the lives of two fellow pilgrims. Have you had those moments? The ones where God demonstrates his life and love in ways that make your immediate context appear pathetically small? At one point I found myself with head in hands, almost unbelieving of his providence. And yet it is within my human condition that I might think for a moment in time that his grace might not be sufficient for me.

Perhaps it is a cycle within my journey, or a necessary step in my walk. But I have talked before about me and my fickle faith when I found myself standing on the cusp of something much larger than all of this. For God's belittling is not simply a pride-buster, nor is it some sort of divine king-of-the-hill game. But it is the first step of opening us up to a world that is much larger than our own, a reality which is more real than we choose to believe, and a life which is more abundant than the uncertainties which we cling to on our own.

For what he has done, what he is doing now, and what he will do in completion - to God be the glory.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amen! To God be the Glory! --Jennifer Lee