The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Matthew 23:11-12 (NIV)
Have you humbled yourself? Have your set aside your privileges and expectations. Have you let go of your rights? Have you given up on your demands? How do you regard yourself? Have you thought of yourself as being better and more important than others? Have you exalted yourself and all your wants and needs and desires above anyone, above all else? Those are tough questions. Why is that? I cannot give myself a passing grade on any of your questions. I have been filled with pride. I have carried my rights, privileges, expectations and demands around with me like a set of well-worn luggage. That’s a heavy load to carry. Yes, it is. Worse than that, I have thought of myself as being better and more important than others. I have wanted all my wants and needs and desires to be met while I have barely thought of the wants and needs and desires of those around me. That’s not good. It is more than not good, it is pathetic. Yes, it is.
What has happened to you as a result of your pride? That’s a good question. A prideful, self-centered, self-exalting, self-indulgent life is not sustainable. A prideful life coming to a humbling crash is as predictable as gravity bringing a heavy object back down to earth. You have been humbled? You have been brought back down to earth? Yes, I have experienced the error of my ways. I have suffered for my sinful pride. I have been brought far lower than I have ever exalted myself. Are you sure? No, I’m not sure. That’s good.
There is one thing of which I am sure. What’s that? I no longer want to live a prideful, self-centered, self-exalting, self-indulgent life. There is no joy in that. This is not the life that you have called me to live. No, it is not. You have given me an example to follow. You humbled yourself. You gave up all your rights and privileges, demands and expectations. Yes, I did. You considered others as better than yourself. You did not think about all your wants and needs and desires. No, I did not. You came into this world to give of yourself. You held nothing back. You kept nothing in reserve. You joyfully laid down your life to serve others. You fulfilled the purpose and plan that your Heavenly Father had for your life. Yes, I did. You never retreated from your call. You had no regrets for how you lived your life. No, I did not. That is what I want. I want to follow your example. I want to do what you did. I want to love like you loved, give like you gave and serve like you served. I will humble myself. I will listen for your call. I will humbly go and do all that you ask of me. I will live my serving others. That will be every good.
Lord, I have been proud. I have thought of myself as being more important than others. I have put myself first. I have exalted myself and all my wants, needs and desires. Forgive me. Help me to follow your example. I will humble myself so I can serve others. Amen
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