Posts Tagged: "Humility"

What Henri Said

There is much emphasis on notoriety and fame in our society.

Our newspapers and television keep giving us the message: What counts is to be known, praised, and admired, whether you are a writer, an actor, a musician, or a politician.

Still, real greatness is often hidden, humble, simple, and unobtrusive.

It is not easy to trust ourselves and our actions without… Read More

The Illusion of Superiority

We are in a series on the Beatitudes of Jesus at church right now… it’s called “Dance to the Beat.” One of my favorite lines came from a message on humility:

The essence of “God blesses those who are humble (or those who are meek)” is that God can work with people who don’t think they are superior to others—but where there is arrogance and aggression, God’s blessing is not there.

Jean Vanier, in his book Becoming Human, says:

The illusion of being superior engenders the need to prove it; and so oppression is born. A bishop in Africa told me that, even though there were few Christians in the area, he had built his cathedral bigger than the local mosque. All this to prove… Read More

Lent Day 34… Maybe You Weren’t Made For Greatness

Question: does a palm tree have to be “great” in order for it to be valuable, useful, beautiful, or special? Does it matter if it is the tallest or fastest or largest? Do we need palm tree competitions and palm tree awards to validate their existence?

God does not demand that I be successful. God demands that I be faithful. When facing God, results are not important. Faithfulness is what is important. —Mother Teresa

I’ve joked before about how I think we shouldn’t tell our kids they are going to be world-changers and champions or princesses and kings. The gist of what I’m saying is that these kinds of well-intentioned statements heap on loads of unrealistic expectations. Maybe we should lower the bar. Why not be content with our kids even if they are *shudder* average?

There’s something unhealthy about the world-changer champion princess narrative in my opinion. It stirs up a… Read More

Grow Innerly Rather Than Outperformingly

Quoting from Luci Shaw’s book Adventure of Ascent

Today, an email message from an organization known as Training Summits, inviting me to become part of a team of executives and visionaries—trainers whose agenda it is to help their trainees to “outperform.”

I’m willing to admit that there’s a certain value in efficient, forward-looking planning and training, but the word outperform bothers me somehow.

Schadenfreude is all too likely to… Read More

How Far Do I Have To Go Before Just Admitting That I Screwed Up?

Almost 20 years ago, one of the key guys on my youth ministry team was getting credentialed as a minister. He’d graduated from college, answered the right questions, made it through the interview, and was becoming an official “Rev.”

So I got him a nice Bible with “Reverend” and his name in gold on the cover, and planned a special service to recognize this milestone.

I don’t remember all that went into this little celebration. There was probably a reception and cake. I think we invited his parents and relatives to the shindig.

What I’ll never forget, though, was my… Read More

A True Story About Pizza, Tipping, And The Cost Of Not Being Able To Be Questioned

The following is a true story…

In a land far, far away (Yakima, Washington), I was riding high. My youth ministry was the biggest thing in town and we were on the verge of launching another service at Central Washington University. I had several employees working for me and a crazy band of leaders who would do just about anything for the cause.

Great things were happening. We were making a difference in the lives of young people and it was having an impact on our city.

Also, I was full of myself. I felt successful and was… Read More

To Remember That Stooping & Serving Is Beautiful

I remember when I first heard about a pastor who had his own personal chef, chauffeur, and tailor. My mind was blown. Wow! Holy cow! So…. THIS is success. THIS is what arriving looks like. THIS is a thing of beauty and I want to get there some day too.

I thought: I need to build my platform so that I can be somebody important – someone others will serve.

Around that same time, I had read books like “Under Cover” and “God’s Armor Bearer” – books that emphasized how important it is to serve the “man of God” (the pastor or leader or top dog in your organization). The message was clear: we should aspire to carry his briefcase, his Bible, wash his car, mow his lawn, run his errands… you know, really serve the big guy.

There was another message too, and it was a motivating one. It went something like this… Read More