This Is What I would Tell Myself If I Could Go Back In Time!

hand in handWhen I look back at my days as a young man, I realize that I didn’t know jack. The sad part was that I had wonderful people in my life who knew a lot. The problem was that I wasn’t teachable. I was a hard headed young man who was too concerned with showing people what I knew. Because of that, I had little concern with and didn’t see the value in truly being teachable.

Being teachable is really just a matter of being humble. Most people cringe at the sound of that word. Many equate being humble with being poor or being weak. The truth is that walking in true humility takes real strength and maturity. Traits that are rarely found in young men. I like the way Rev. Keith Moore defines it. He says “Humility is reality”. So I say, How many breaths can you really take credit for? How many heartbeats did you give yourself? The truth is that none of us are self made and if it were not for the grace and mercy of God, and the favor we have with others, many of us would not have made it this far. To know that is reality. To live with this understanding is humility. The humble person is pliable and teachable because they recognize and acknowledge the truth about themselves; that they don’t know everything.

 

The opposite is pride. Pride is having an unrealistic view of yourself. Pride is not reality. It’s being deceived that you are more than you really are. We all deal with it. Have you ever had someone do or say something and you just “stiffened”. I’ve heard it called several things, bowing your back, sticking your chest out, hardening your heart. It’s all the same. It’s all a lack of humility. It’s all a manifestation of pride. The Lord in referring to his people in the Old Testament sometimes referred to them as a stiff necked and hard hearted people. This condition blinds us into thinking that those around us don’t know as much as we do, they are not experts like we are and therefore we shouldn’t have to stoop to hear their input.

“If you are not in the process of becoming the person you want to be, you are automatically engaged in becoming the person you don’t want to be. ”
Dale Carnegie

The owner of my company has repeatedly started and grown business after business into success and profitability. He said at a Christmas party a few years ago that his daughter asked him one day what he did. He had to think about it for a while but eventually defined himself as a Serial Entrepreneur. He was not bragging when he said that.  I don’t get many chances to be around him but when I am, I don’t do all the talking. I listen. He knows stuff I don’t know but want to know. When I’m around people like him, it’s not the time to start talking about how much I know and try to impress, it’s time to shut up and learn, glean, get some understanding. When I was young, I did the opposite. I would chatter constantly in an effort to impress. I seriously doubt that anyone was impressed.

If I could go back in time and give myself some advice, I would tell myself this. Walk in humility & become teachable. Become a learner. Everything changed for me when I learned the importance of true humility. It did three notable things:

  1. It opened up the flow of grace in my life. The Bible says in James 4:6 and in 1 Peter 5:5 that God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. Grace is the gifts, equipping and power of God for you that was bought by the Blood of Jesus. These grace gifts enable us to walk out the will of God for our lives. Humility opens up the flow of grace but when we walk in pride, it actually causes God to resist us. Who needs that?!
  2. I began to get wisdom. I began to listen to those who knew more than me. This goes back to a previous post. I began to see that I didn’t need to take the beating for myself in order to learn the lessons. I could learn from the suffering of others with out having to bleed for myself.
  3. Humility and honor are constant companions. They travel together. When you humble yourself, GOD lifts you up! (Mat 23:12) When you humble yourself, HE exalts you.  He will cause you to have favor with those around you.

So what’s our next move?

This is a fight that we will all need to fight as long as we are on earth. No one “arrives” in the fight against pride. Lets take some time this week to really examine ourselves. Where do we stand with humility and being teachable? Do we think more highly of ourselves than we aught to think? (Rom 12:3). Ask God to show you where you’ve been missing it in this area. When He does, take steps to fix it. Remember, humbling yourself takes maturity and self control. Weak people don’t do it. The best way to deal with areas where you need to grow is to remind yourself of the price that Jesus paid for you and to realize that God wants to help you, but you have to humble yourself in order for His grace to flow.

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