"What the heck? How could someone cut me off in traffic again? Me?! The nerve of them to do such a thing and to me, I am in such a hurry!" How often have I felt that way? I can't begin to tell you. The worst part of it is that it isn't just limited to morning traffic. I can be insulted or given a sarcastic jab from someone and respond as though I were majorly offended. Why is that? Simple answer is most obviously pride. It is the same thing that causes me to feel cut when someone else gets what I look to as an undeserved position, an undeserved relationship, and undeserved job. "When will it be my turn God? When will I get mine?" It's funny how often we cry those words out in our hearts. "But God! I don't want to wait that long! But God why doesn't this just go away! Why can't I just, but God, but God!" But God? I thought those two words when brought together were beautiful.
But God is one of my favorite phrases found in the bible, "But God showed up, but God wrecked house (as taken from the CLT [Chris Living Translation]), but God saved, but God restored." Sounds great coming from God, but typically coming from us, it is anything but great. Often it is some pride centered statement of discontent toward the God who should be sufficient enough for us. What I think we need is an honest reality check. We need a reality check. We need what David had in 1 Sam 26.
David was being pursued by Saul and in short had every right to kill Saul in order that he might take his rightful place as king, however, he didn't. Reading through the life of David I continued asking myself how it was David maintained such an attitude. To see Saul as "The LORD's annointed" (1 Sam 26:9) I am sure was part of it, but that is only the half of it. I think this view of Saul came first from how it was David esteemed himself, something which becomes evident to us in 1 Sam 26:20b
"For the king of Israel has come out to seek a flea, as when one hunts a partridge in the mountains"
Interesting comparison we have: a flea and a partridge. I don't think you need an explanation for what a flea is, however, a partidge is a bird whose wings are so small that when hunted, try as they might, they never can get off the ground and as a result are harmless. That is how David saw himself and that the ground from which his character grew, humility. David did what Paul speaks of in Phil 2:3 "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself."
It wasn't David's resolve or self-worth that allowed him to carry such a humble character, it was David's view of himself. It was the fact that David had come to terms with the grace God had given him. David wasn't looking to be king, David didn't even really understand what the whole thing was all about. Simply put, David saw himself as a lowly shepherd whose aim was to put a smile on the God he served, nothing else.
How often are we offended by others and tend to put our schedules, our agendas, our ideas, our thoughts, our cards out first and tend to leave others in the dust. This is something I have learned in my own relationships and am continuing to learn, I am not who I think I am. I am not the spiritual guru with all the answers, I am not the guy who trusts God all day every day, I am not the smartest man in the room and I am not the guy who "has it all together." I am the guy who everyday has to be reminded God loves him and that nothing can separate him from God's love. I need his grace daily, and the more I read, pray, serve and fellowship, the more I come to terms with the fact that I am the worst person I know.
Don't stop there though. Remember that their is a Romans 8 in the bible and that we are told there is now therefore no condemnation, so don't beat yourself up about it, just change it and understand that it is not by your strength that you'll do it, but by His Spirit. Humility does not come naturally, however, Christ's nature in us is centered around lowliness of mind, we just have to surrender...
"Your spiritual poverty enables you to enter the world of the other, even when you cannot identify with the world-e.g., the drug culture, the gay world. The poor in spirit are the most nonjudgmental of peoples; they get along well with sinners." - Brennan Manning