Sunday, July 16, 2017

Taking the Low Place and High Road

Written by: Scotty Smith

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. (James 4:10 NIV)

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. (Prov. 11:2 NIV)

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (Eph. 4:2 NIV)

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (Matt. 5:9 NIV)

Heavenly Father, "being right" is so much more fun than being humbled; remaining defensive is so much easier than offering kindness; getting even is more instinctive than getting low. Alas, I find myself again in the need of fresh grace as this day begins. Thank you for convicting me without condemning me.

I know you resist the proud, but give grace to the humble--and the last thing in the world I want is to experience your resistance, so, Father, I humble myself before you today. Bring glory to yourself, as you bring me back to the ways of the gospel.

Forgive me for trying to justify my critical spirit, coolness, and disconnect. Nobody's failure to love well can excuse mine. Every day, in every relationship, I've gotta remember: The only thing that counts is "faith expressing itself in love" (Gal. 5:6). I'm called to love others as Jesus loves me, not as they love me.

Forgive me for confusing my self-righteous monologue with prayer. I've been talking to myself, not to you. Forgive me for relishing the thought of being right, when everything is wrong with my attitude. Forgive me for "processing" the broken situation with others, when it's really been closer to gossip. Forgive me for being passive in the face of a potential messy confrontation, rather than being an active peacemaker.

Have mercy on me, gracious Father, have mercy. As the day unfolds, please grant me humility, kindness, and courage to move towards the situation. Bring glory to yourself, gentleness to my heart, and a good gospel outcome. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus' wonderful and merciful name.

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