My Fab Fam

My Fab Fam
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Thursday, September 27, 2012


Humility is, in my opinion, the very hardest lesson to learn this side of heaven.  Because, until someone is able to give me a convincing argument otherwise (and I eagerly welcome anyone's thoughts), I am convinced that pride is at the root of every sin.  I think, therefore, that there are few if any of us that couldn't use a reminder about humility, at least every now and then.  And as I am constantly "vacillating furiously between self-love and self-loathing," I am always in need of a good medicinal dose of humility.  And 2 Chronicles is where I can find it.

So many kings.  So many that started off doing what was right in the eyes of the LORD, but they became strong and proud, and fell.  Or they were swayed by those around them to turn away from God, and fell.  Or they would make alliances with other kings instead of relying on God for help, and fell.

Yesterday I read (again) chapter 26 about King Uzziah.  Once again this verse jumped out at me:  "His fame spread far and wide, for he was greatly helped until he became powerful" (v.15).  But this time I wasn't focusing only on the part that said "he was greatly helped," but the entire last phrase, "he was greatly helped UNTIL HE BECAME POWERFUL."  But why just until he became powerful?  The next verse explains:

16 But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the Lord his God, and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense. 

He became powerful.  Then he became proud.

I wonder if he even assumed equality with God.  He certainly felt the freedom to enter God's Holy Sanctuary.  And, considering that people of that time could not even enter an earthly king's throne room unless they were summoned, and even then they had to come crawling in with their nose to the floor, Uzziah assumed way too much freedom in approaching the King of all kings, the One Who had said only His chosen priests could enter His presence.  Uzziah's pride deceived him into thinking the rules didn't apply to him.

And I kind of wigged out.  And I decided then, I do not ever want to become powerful.  I struggle enough with pride now.  What in heaven's name would power do to me?  I prayed for extra humility.  For me.  For my man.  I prayed that we would never have very much power.  I prayed that God would sift out all blotches of pride in our hearts and guard us from all future pride pitfalls.  That we would rely on God for everything.  Every-thing.  That we would remain faithful all the days of our lives.  That our girls would remain faithful all their days.  I just tried to cover all the bases.  I was pretty much torn up after reading this chapter.  Especially given the fact that Uzziah started off so well!

But today.  Today I read chapter 27 about Jotham and I remembered something comforting:  power doesn't always lead to pride.  Shew!  I mean, this is obvious, right?  We see examples of Christians all around us with a huge sphere of influence and still they remain humble and faithful.  But that last chapter just disturbed me.  But then 27 followed on its heels to bring me some reassurance and comfort.  This is a nice, short chapter, the shortest chapter in 2 Chronicles--9 verses to be exact.  The description of Jotham, therefore, is far from detailed, but what this chapter does tell us is more than enough:

2 He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD...
6 Jotham grew powerful because he walked steadfastly before the LORD his God.

He walked steadfastly.  He kept His eyes on the ALMIGHTY even as he became mighty and all the luster of the world piled up right at his feet.


I received an email devotional from Max Lucado, in which he unwittingly gave a great summation of my last two days of reading:

"Our merits merit nothing."

Uzziah looked at his merits and became prideful, forgetting WHO enabled him to accomplish so much to begin with!  And he fell.  But Jotham kept his focus on God, steadfastly.  He didn't see his merits as his own but as God's, Who was working through him.  And he stood.

As a Godly man I know says, "Anything good comes from God; the mistakes are mine."  The merits are all by His grace.  The only things we can ever take credit for is the yucky stuff.  So, really, of what can we be proud?


Here's Max's devotional that so perfectly piggy-backed my readings.

I became a Christian about the same time I became a Boy Scout and made the assumption God grades on a merit system.  Good scouts move up.  Good people go to heaven.
I resolved to amass a multitude of spiritual badges.  I worked toward the day when God, amid falling confetti and dancing cherubim, would drape my badge-laden sash across my chest, welcome me into his eternal kingdom, where I could humbly display my badges for eternity.
But some thorny questions surfaced.  How good is good?  What is the permitted percentage of exaggeration?
Ephesians 2:8 says:  “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.”
Unearned.  A gift.  Our merits merit nothing.
Let grace happen, for heaven’s sake. Of all the things you must earn in life, God’s unending affection is not one of them.   You have it!


And for me, one of the most amazing aspects of Grace is the ability to enter the throne room of the Most High anytime, with our head lifted high.  He has summoned us.  We are welcome.  And our invitation has absolutely nothing to do with our merits, our power, or our fame (very thankful for that since I am greatly lacking in those areas), but it has everything to do with grace.  

AMAZING grace.


"Now I...praise and glorify and honor the King of heaven.  All His acts are just and true and He is able to humble the proud."  Daniel 4:37

"God opposes the proud but gives GRACE to the humble."  1 Peter 5:5


Attitude of Gratitude (Continued)

Thank you, Lord, for...

#8.  Grace.  That awesome ability to work through my inabilities.  Heavenly power.
#9.  You are the lifter of my head!  And I am so prone to walk around in guilt and shame.  But as you so clearly said to me this week, "Do not fear, I have redeemed you, you are mine."  You give me confidence, without pride.  Ahhh, God-confidence. 
#10.  Max Lucado!  (Oh, Max, you speak truth to me in a fresh way and with such a happy manner that God's light shines right into the dark places of my heart, bringing much-needed healing and joy.)  
#11.  And, I can't mention one of my favorite teachers without thanking God for the other...Beth Moore.  (Beth, I relate to you on so very many levels--except your insane Bible knowledge--that it gives me hope...hope that a crazy pit-dwelling sinner like me can be a fully-devoted follower of Christ this side of heaven.)
#12.  Examples in Scripture of what I DON'T want to be,  (Lord, may I please learn SOME lessons just by observing others?  Do I always have to learn them the hard way?  Let me learn this one--humility--before it's too late.) 
#13.  Time to sit by my man on the couch.  Even if we are each on our own computer, he's here.  At home.  With me.  He has a job that lets him be at home every night, even if only in time for bed.  He's not serving in the military.  He is not being unfaithful.  He's not even out with friends, participating in hobbies, or over-extending himself with a few of the million extra-curricular activities that threaten to destroy every home.  He can be here and he chooses to be here.
#14.  A good report on my big girl's ears yesterday.  She had her last tube taken out a few months ago.  And, for the last couple of weeks, she has been complaining of an ear ache.  I was fully prepared for bad news.  So, so, SO thankful there is no infection.
#15.  My MOPS group which provides some always-welcome "Momma time..."
#16.  ...Good food I didn't have to make...
#17.  ...And sweet encouragement from...
#18.  ...Our mentor mommas and...
#19.  ...Other mommas of preschoolers who are in the trenches right along with me.  (I realized those were all really separate reasons to be thankful.)  (Smile)
#20.  And our AWESOME MOPPETTS workers.  Our kids are in excellent hands; so, we can fully indulge in a little grown-up conversation and relaxation.
#21.  My big girl's AWESOME preschool, especially...
#22.  Ms. Donna.  (We love you!)
#23.  And their newly installed security system.  YAH!!!

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