Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Humility vs. Fear

Today I've come to realize that any time I'm asked to take on a new leadership role, I react the same way (even if its something I'm expecting!)

I start by getting nervous. I want to ask the person, "Are you sure? You really want me?" I think there's no way I'm ready for that role. I think of all the people who would be better qualified than I am. I wonder when they'll realize they made a mistake. I wonder how big I'll screw up, and when. Meanwhile, however, I'm outwardly calm. I observe and learn what they teach me, and do my best in the role, giving it my all. 

Now, some might say it's humility. You know humility, that word you learn in Sunday school? Usually you learn it with verses like, "Pride goes before a fall" or "In humility consider others better than yourself"? It's a good lesson, but I think we get it confused. Because when I'm thinking all those things listed above, it's definitely NOT humility that's showing in my heart. It's fear. 

Fear that I'm not good enough. Fear that I'll mess it up, make a mistake. Fear that I don't really belong in that role that I'm dreaming of and will have to give it up. Fear that everyone will find me lacking. 

Fear comes from looking in. Humility comes from looking up. 

When you think of those figures who were truly humble (Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Mother Teresa,  Amy Carmichael, to name a few), they may have had similar thoughts, but they turned them to God. They trusted that they didn't have all the answers or skills, but that He did. Putting their trust in Him, putting His plan above their wants, that's humility. Doing your best, without expecting a reward, to allow someone else to be lifted high. 

So today, with this new role being offered, I'm going to try to face it with humility. I'm turning my fear over to God and letting Him show off. Rather than looking at myself and letting my fear get the best of me, I'm looking to Him and letting Him teach me what I need to learn to be the best version of Ashley I can be. How else can I be prepared for the big work He has for me to do? 

Today's AspiringAshley Aspiration? Humility.

Edit 10/7/12: In today's Sunday School class on Exodus, my Pastor briefly touched on humility, so I wanted to share what I gleaned from him. We were in Exodus chapter 4, where God is calling Moses, but he's resisting. He starts in the beginning of the chapter with a fear vs. humility issue, saying he's not good enough, not skilled enough, etc. God says, and I love the wording of this, "Go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say." (Exodus 4:12, emphasis mine). Not just, "I'll be with you", but "I'll be with your mouth"! How cool is that?! God cares about every detail! He'll take care of it!

But then Moses's fear beats out the humility and he doubts God's power. So God agrees to send Aaron with Moses to be the mouthpiece of God's deliverance  Moses settled for the Plan B. Plan A was His perfect will, Moses going before Pharaoh and freeing the Israelites. But because of Moses' doubt and settling for Plan B, now there's trouble. Now it's not the easy way of Plan A. Oh, Lord, may I seek and humble myself to Your Plan A for my life! Moses still did God's will, but he missed out on that first-best plan that would have been so much easier for him!

My Pastor defined humility this way: "Humility is authority under control". In this case, under control of the Holy Spirit. In our lives as Christ-followers, we are to be humble but balanced, so we don't let our humility lead us to doubt God. We need to know that there is no limit to what the God in us can do through us. (Pastor Najem, Oct. 2012)

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