May 27 – Tips for Everyday Life – Humble Yourself

Read James 4:4-12

Have you tasted “humble pie” lately?  This is usually a pie no one likes to eat!

In recent days, I have been reminded of how easy my confidence in life has been humbled. I find myself entering an aisle at the store to grab an item and realize I am going the wrong way as the arrows on the floor tell me to turn around.  I have been known to walk backwards to get that one item.

At times like that, we may define humility as “An embarrassing event that causes us to feel badly and want to hide.”

How does this definition compare to our Scripture today? James asks a few tough questions that are important for us to answer. Do I have a heart of adultery? Am I a friend of this world or a friend of God? Do I judge or speak against a brother or sister? If I am offended at these questions, I may not see that this attitude can keep me from a healthy heart of humility.

Scripture is so clear that, when our hearts are yielding and choosing our way over God’s, it is adultery. When I choose a worldly mindset that is ME focused, that is friendship with the world. As I form judgments and criticisms against others, I am slandering and making myself the Judge! Selfish pride has taken root. What can transform my heart? Humility!

James 4:10 is the key. As I humble myself before the Lord, I recognize my need for Him and His GRACE. I can’t be good enough or give enough to earn His favor. He deserves first place in our lives and hearts. The kind of grace here is transforming.  As we draw near to God, we are cleansed and purified. The lament and mourning over our poor choices and prideful hearts is replaced with His joy as we humble ourselves before Him. .

Pursuing healthy humility is difficult. It is not a goal we typically talk about. In Philippians 2, we are told to put on the same mindset as Jesus who humbled himself to live on this earth and die a cruel death so that GRACE could be extended to you, to me. I can be humble but only because of His power working in me.

How can we honor our Heavenly Father in humility today? Worship Him! Serve with His Grace to those around you! Do whatever He is asking you to do! He will draw near to us!

Celeste Kern

November 30 – Open Letters – Anger

Read James 1:19-20

In the coming days, you are going to be reading some Open Letters that our team has written to emotions, struggles and issues that we have either observed or experienced. It is our prayer that these letters will encourage you, if you are struggling with the same, to see and experience healing and deliverance through Jesus. He is and always will be the solution to our problems. However, our problems are still a struggle within us.

Allow me to share such a struggle from my life:

Dear Anger,

There’s no real reason why you play such a big role in my life. I wasn’t raised in an angry household. Through my many years of church attendance, I have been surrounded by many people who are loving and supportive. Regardless, I have always been someone that allows you to control much more of my life than you deserve.

Experiences in Jr. High and High School didn’t help. Being an afterthought to many people, being told I wasn’t strong enough…tough enough. Being told eye-to-eye that, “You don’t have what it takes…”. I have often allowed you to well up to the surface and to hurt people that I love the most. Because of the damage you caused, I feel like apologizing to people I’ve hurt over and over. They deserved better.

I was freed from you.

James tells us in his letter:

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”

You do not produce the righteousness that God desires. I’m done giving you control in my life. I live to serve my Lord. I will continue to challenge myself to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to give in to you. I will learn to forgive as others have forgiven me. The people who caused me such pain are your children as well. If you have forgiven me, why shouldn’t I forgive them?

I am dedicating myself to pursuing the righteousness that God desires. I won’t allow the small things to matter so much. I’m done with allowing my past to define my future. God has created me for so much more than you.

My past won’t define me. You will not define me.

Allow me to conclude this letter by quoting a song lyric:

“Here’s to a past I’ll never need
No ‘here’s to you’
Rest in peace”