Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. James 1, verse 9.
Some of the proudest moments of my life are when I was humbled for God. There were moments on mission trips, moments when I felt moved by Him to do things I wouldn’t ordinarily do at home. One time in Africa, I felt so despondent and broken that I knew in my heart I had nobody to rely on but Jesus. When I found Jesus was breaking my heart, I also found that He quickly began to fill it. I’m proud of those moments; really am. It’s not an arrogant, cocky, self-confident kind of pride. Instead, it’s thankful, glad to have been a part of it, understanding God’s purpose for me in those moments, and happy to have let Him do what He did through me.
Then there is last night. I went to the Minnesota State Fair. Don’t get me wrong: I love Texas, and I really love the Texas State Fair. If you want to do it right, though, you simply have to go to a fair in the Midwest, and the fair here in Minnesota is one of the best. The food, the rides, the rodeo, the crowds, the bargains, the free stuff: I love it all. Most of all, I love walking through the 4H exhibits. I’m constantly amazed by the arts, crafts, and foods that 4H children make. They are intricate, very difficult, and original. Quilts, foods, woodwork, art, photography, different crafts: they’re all made by kids.
The things on display there are the best of the best; you can tell by all the ribbons. Yet I imagine the kids who make them do so in humble circumstances. They’re from small towns all over the state, and they do their best to make things that will be judged among the finest in their craft. One way of looking at it is that these kids are using their God-given talents to humbly do their best, making things in which they can take rightful pride.
In a way, their handiwork is Jesus’ handiwork. Those fancy ribbons are recognition for the humble work of humble people, but, in a way, they’re recognition for the good work done by Jesus.
That should be our goal too: to win a ribbon for our humility. We should let Jesus speak through us by using our talents quietly, patiently, humbly, and in a dignified way so that our best, our Jesus light, can shine through. The longer I live, the more I find that the things of which I’m most proud aren’t things at all, but Jesus moments. Contentment in my family; smiles on kids; the feeling of a job well done; knowing that I’m loved. The things of which I’m proudest are the moments when Jesus is most active.
My Lord, I’m proud to follow You. I’m proud of the faith You grow in me. Help me to humbly live it. Thank You.
What are you proud of?
Do you have pride in things, or in people, or in what Jesus does in you?
If you aren’t proud of that, what are you prepared to do?