Friday, April 20, 2007

Pride & Humility

Why is it that Christians struggle so much with praise? We know our children and grandchildren need it. We know our spouses need it. But somehow, even as we glow inside over kind words, we form arguments against them. We play "humility" games, tell ourselves not to get swelled heads, and remind ourselves of the failures and the criticisms in the not so distant past. It is almost as if we think God will be embarrassed or threatened by our victories.

Humility is a Christian catchword, pride the antithesis. Is it prideful to acknowledge an area of God's gifting; to thank Him for that gifting and then use it to the best of your ability? Is it prideful to communicate well, with clear, heart-felt language, beautiful word-pictures and a message of hope? Is it prideful to accept a thanks for a job well done?

To call our gifting "nothing" is to insult the giver. Yet to take credit for the "gift" as if it was all our doing is also to insult the giver. How then, do you find balance?

I have no easy answers, but hope you will indulge my love for poetry and join me in wrestling with this issue.

Called To Speak

A time to share.
Someone recognizes the gift.

Pride and humility,
oil and water,
stir, but fail to blend.

Called by God – yet
hunger for man’s applause.
Giving selflessly,
grasping selfishly
elated and ashamed.

So much less than I want to be, God.
So much more than I could have been
without You.

Speak through me
though self still seeks the honour.
Touch lives
though I hunger for the praise.
Lift me
that I might lose myself
in the wonder of Your love.

Let the words put on paper
as Your Spirit stirred,
outreach my failings;
overshadow my selfishness;
accomplish bigger things than my fame,
for too small – that
for Your gift.

Called to speak.

Speak through me then
though I have many failings, Lord.
Speak clearly
though I am oft confused.
Speak gently,
though I yearn to stir deeply.

Let that which lingers on the mind
be Your Words
though my hand spill ink on paper,
my lips form sounds.

Speak Lord
for now
Your servant bows before You
and listens.

Copyright Brian Austin

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