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It’s Hard To Be Humble

February 3, 2018

I caught myself giving a great friend advice tonight only to realize I’m not living by the words I spoke. One day maybe I’ll get the chance to tell you the whole story, but for the person(s) involved I won’t at the moment. Let’s just say that we have a friend who is going through some of the same battles I’ve gone through in the past.

So we have an amazing group of guys…a great support cast. While we all have unique stories we also often times get to find out how we’re a “me too” group with some of the same battle scars. We may not connect with everybody, but I think all of us in the group truly feel a connection with somebody. Getting to tell our stories to one another feels therapeutic. None of us want to feel alone.

The thing I’m re-learning is how in the good times maybe it’s harder to remember why things are good. Actually, it’s harder to remember Who has given us the victory in our lives: Jesus! We’re more apt to call out to Him when we need help. After a period of time when life really feels great I think we have a tendency to believe we’re the reason for our success and happiness.

I found myself telling a guy recently how I’d overcome my addiction to liquor. Yes, it’s been 8 years and three months of sobriety. When I played back the conversation in my mind I don’t remember giving any of the credit to God. Jesus is who I called out to when I was sitting in the “drunk tank” and Jesus is who saved me. Yet, for some reason, I want to be the one to take credit.

So tonight, the advice I gave, was for a friend who is doing everything in his power to help someone. I told him to quit beating himself up. I wanted him to realize we can’t blame ourselves and “all we can do is all we can do.” True words, but for someone who wants the credit for every victory, how can I not feel I’m personally to blame when there’s a loss.

I got home and had the perfect reminder hit me in the face. “The Blind Side” was on TV and it reminded me of Marvin. If you don’t know, Marvin is my foster brother. He was a very talented 6 foot 9 inch basketball player. He told me a couple years ago, on a phone call from the prison he was in, that he should have been the Michael Oher of the basketball world. He had the same background and our family took him in and helped give him some of the same opportunities. Since his release early last summer, I’ve lost touch with Marvin. He isn’t returning my calls or text messages. While I tried over and over again to do whatever I could to help, I worry about him now. As I give the advice “all we can do is all we can do,” I’m secretly struggling to wonder what else could I have done.

Finally, I’m reminded to check myself. We all know the verse in I Peter 5:7 “Casting all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” Yet there is worry, there is fear both for this friend and for Marvin. Maybe it’s because I’m not as quick to remember verse 6. See, verse 7 is a result of not having anxiety, but results come after actions. Verse 6 says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.” There was no humility in me when I tried to take credit for the good. No wonder I’m kicking myself when things aren’t.

Luckily, my God is a God of grace who (verse 10) “after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” If I want the result of getting rid of my anxiety I need to quit standing in my own strength. What I need God has for me and He alone deserves the credit.

May I never forget how good God has been to me. May I never forget He alone is the reason I’m still alive and standing. I owe Him so much, why do I try to take credit? Thank you Jesus for loving me anyways. You are such a good God! To those who I have told my story to I’d like to apologize if I took any credit. My strength comes from the Lord.

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