Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast Episode 008 A Humble Spirit
Welcome to the Terri Hitt – Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast.
Episode #008 – A Humble Spirit
Thank you for entrusting and investing your precious time with me to grow in Jesus together. I am blessed and thrilled to be back with you today to discuss more ways to live with eternal perspective.
My youngest child loves to create acronyms, especially funny ones. Lately, they have all been about me. The last couple of days she has been calling me “MAP.” We’ll come back to this.
This same daughter has told me for years that she wants to be just like me. She is always saying that we are twins. This sweetheart has had a long “I want to be like Mommy” phase. I was shocked when out of the blue last night she told me that she didn’t want to be just like me anymore. I’ll admit. It hurt my ego. She’s growing up too fast, my heart protested.
“Oh, no,” I said to her. “We’re not twins anymore?”
“No,” she said without a trace of remorse.
“Why not?” I asked.
“Mommy’s work all the time. I don’t want to.”
She laughs, but I immediately feel “Mom Guilt.” I don’t want her to grow up thinking all I do is work around the house. I remind her that I make time to play with her every single day, then we spend the day together in homeschool.
She’s good with that; in fact, she’s not guilting me with the acronym. Having only lived a normal family life for the last four years, she is making observations and voicing her feelings.
Now let’s go back to the acronym, MAP. Know what she says it stands for? “Mommy’s A Peasant.”
As she laughs, the Holy Spirit gives me the best response for her.
“Thank you,” I said.
“What?” she asked.
“You said I’m a peasant, right?”
“Yes,” she said.
“You think I do things for the family all day?”
“Think about Jesus,” I reminded her. “I’m nothing like Him,” I said, “But if Jesus came to serve and not be served, I think I can try to do the same for my family.”
She sat up, facing me with full attention and interest.
We talked about Jesus and why He came to live on the earth among us. She’s heard most of what I said before, but just as many of us do, she was hearing the same stories in a new context. Fresh eyes and a different perspective gave new life to the tales she thought she had learned.
So far today she hasn’t called me a peasant, but she has designed an acronym for herself. It’s PAP. Her nickname is Peanut, and “Peanut’s a peasant.” In fact, she has now christened her Daddy as “DAP” and her sister as “MAP,” as well.
Philippians 2:1-11 says, “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
How great God is that He chooses to gift us with such easy ways to draw ourselves and others to Him. How merciful is He that in our fallen nature where our ego threatens to rule us at every turn, the Holy Spirit lives inside those of us who love Him, so that we may be guided to hear His quiet truths and remember that life is not about us. All that we do should lift Him toward the glory and honor He is due.
May He increase and I decrease.
Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” My goodness. I love the way God shows me where my ego gets in the way. Why did my identity feel bruised when she told me that I worked a lot?
It’s because I try so hard to be there for her. I make sure we play since she didn’t have time in the important formative years. I purposely create opportunities to grow our bonds with each other. But the key point to remember is that none of it would be possible without the work of my Heavenly Father allowing the good works to come to fruition. He is the One guiding my spirit to desire what to do with her. He is also the One forming the bonds and attachment that occurs.
As I bow to Him, relying on His promptings, I allow Him to flow into our lives. Instead of feeling a little wounded with the opinion she voiced, I should rejoice that she shares her thoughts so openly. I should remember that her feelings are not about me. Whenever we allow our personal thoughts or feelings twist around what someone else shares with us, our emotions with always get distorted.
Have you ever been humbled by the Lord? I have. Many times.
Unfortunately, I’ve been forced to learn hard lessons in the area of humility. Especially in the areas I was most competent or talented. God knows that the areas He blesses us in are sometimes our weakest spots. It’s easier for us to be deceived and think that we can handle something on our own. We tend to look to Him less, until we learn lessons in humility the hard way and learn where our true strength lies.
James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
1 Peter 5:6-7 says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
God cares for, protects, and lifts the humble. “Oh, Lord, please humble me so that I may be cared for and lifted up as You desire.”
James 3:13-18 warns, “Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
My middle daughter used to participate in pageantry. Now before your mind goes to the glitzy, swimsuit, heels, and caked-on makeup look painted on a five year-old, that is not what I am referring to. If that’s your definition of most of the pageantry world, it’s truly much different. In fact, her favorite pageant system, USA National Miss is founded on, and based on principles pleasing to God. There is competition, of course, but the national director nurtures the girls to know where she stands with the Lord and to exhibit qualities that honor Him.
I bring up pageant competitions because the world of pageantry is viewed as cut-throat and shallow. We experienced the opposite. However, what it did for me personally was completely change my selfish ambition of wanting my daughter to be the best and to win everything she entered, even though I never pushed or seemed that way to others from the outside. When we first started, I believed if the judges would see her, they would agree she should be the winner.
As time went on, what I noticed that we found friends and that I adored all the girls and families. We began helping others, giving them tips, letting them borrow items they needed, praying with them, traveling with them, and sharing life with them. I saw how worthy they all were. I learned I was seeing them all through God’s eyes and heart. We no longer allowed my daughter in participate in pageantry hoping she would win, but so that she would develop and sharpen skills such as interview, public speaking, service, and the ability to handle obtaining or losing the end result she desired. Pageantry built the same skills as participation in any sport, for both myself and my daughter. She trained and competed maturely and responsibly, and with a gracious and kind heart, and believed that the outcome was in God’s hands.
I deeply appreciate the way God used the evolution of her skills to transform my heart to be more in alignment with what He desires. Life is not about competing to be the best. It is simply an individual journey each of us walks to humbly discover, know, and become more Christ-like each day. The way we live should be viewed through that lens. We are each given different gifts and talents that we can employ however, God never wants us to use them to demean, belittle, or crush others. He doesn’t call us to “show-off” skills, but I believe He wants us to use them to work together and to find ways to honor and serve Him through them. God has a plan and purpose for each of us. He loves us all the same.
2 Chronicles 7:14-15 tells us, ”If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place.”
Imagine a world in which we all humbly bow to God, seeking ways to show Him though all we do.
Psalm 25:8-9 tells us, “Good and upright is the LORD; therefore, He instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right and teaches the humble His way.”
Imagine a world in which we all choose to listen to and humbly obey God.
Proverbs 15:33 says, “Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord; therefore, He instructs sinners in His ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way.”
When my middle daughter was younger, she had a dance instructor we were blessed to work with. My daughter respected her and gained so much from the talent and professional skills she taught. There was, however, a quality that I hope this teacher learned from my daughter. I remember one day when this instructor wanted to discuss with me in private that my daughter was meek and submissive to others. I knew the behavior she talked about. I could see in my mind the times my girl would hold us up when we were out in public as she stopped to open doors for others without anyone even noticing she was there. No one stopped to thank her or take the door from her so that she would be able to go on back to us. They simply kept walking through the door, not even noticing it was a child helping them. It used to irritate me a bit because I expected adults to recognize her and at least take the door. My girl still does this for others; in fact, her humble behavior now carries a quiet confidence with it. One that comes from above. She knows not everyone appreciates this simple gesture. She doesn’t need to gain their approval. The kindness is not only performed for them. Her actions are spurred by what she feels God is asking her to do. I know I have personally learned that what sometimes what appears to be weakness is actually strength cloaked in God’s desire for us to humble ourselves before Him and others.
As Jesus tells us to live with the faith of a child, I believe we can learn so much from our children. Instead of teaching them to be tougher or to be more competitive, we should be learning from them and taking on the humbleness they intuitively exhibit.
As we desire to grow closer to the Lord, there are questions to ponder and answers we must assess about our hearts to ensure we allow Him to shine from within us and guard against the self-sabotage of ego and self-importance.
In what ways do I hear God whispering to me to change?
Where has pride taken over my spirit?
Do I seek to honor God in what I do?
Do I seek selfish attention or have self-serving ambitions when I serve others?
Is my work an attempt to make myself appear more successful and fill a hole within myself best completed by God?
Do I sacrifice my family in an attempt to gain worldly attention?
Each of us has areas that we need to allow God to make visible to us so we can allow His holy work to mend from within.
Proverbs 11:2 says, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.”
The lessons God crafts for each of us are so personal. Whether we choose to learn from them or continue walking without a humble spirit is our choice. Although I am immensely thankful that He allows us the ability to select whether we will allow ourselves to humbly submit to Him and follow His ways, I have also grown thankful for the hard lessons I have learned. Not that I wanted to endure them, or allow others in my life to suffer, but because they have proven to me how great and gracious my Heavenly Father really is. He not only allows us the ability to choose, but the ability to learn through experience. When we fail or fall, He graciously picks us back up and loves us despite the arrogant or ignorant mistakes we make, allowing us the ability and opportunity to learn from Him and extend that grace to others.
Humility comes in many forms. Studying the life of Jesus affords us the gift of seeing a grace-filled and beautiful life unfold and the humility and wisdom from our Savior to enrich our life if we accept the responsibility of trusting Him and understanding the definition of a humble life. A modest walk is not something to despise or desire to change. It is a quality that we need to savor as a gift from above and treasure it as we labor to retain and build upon it. It does not mean we have no confidence; on the contrary, it means that we have full confidence in Him and in what He is accomplishing in and through us.
As we seek to live each day with more eternal perspective, a humble spirit is essential to develop and grow as we release prideful attitude and actions and adopt a Christlike view of significance.
Thank you so much for listening to the Live With Eternal Perspective podcast. God has impressed so much on my heart to share. Living with an eternal perspective affects absolutely everything in my life. I am thrilled to delve into different areas with you. Since everything affects our eternity, we have a lot to discuss! I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you found value in this podcast, please subscribe so you don’t miss an episode. I also encourage you to leave a review. In order for others to be able to find this podcast, I will need the support of listeners who will invest a few minutes in subscribing and reviewing to lift Live With Eternal Perspective higher on the charts so that the platform shows it to everyone.
Thank you again for sharing part of your day with me. Until next time, keep looking Upward and finding new ways to live with an Eternal Perspective.