[1 Corinthians 13:1-4]
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”
TRUTH TO BELIEVE:
And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me— holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.” Luke 1:46-55, NIV
Thank goodness Luke 2 contains the story of Mary and not me. Look at her prayer of thanksgiving and praise after discovering she was to be an unwed teen mother. I know my flesh and my pride, they both like to swell at the most inopportune times. I would love to think that I would have accepted the news from the angel rather than reject it, but I think that paragraph would have been filled with a lot more “I” and “Me” rather than “He.”
This season threatens to feed my pride. Let met tell you what I want, how busy my schedule is, and even what I’m doing for others. Whether or not I am boasting, my heart can still be puffed up in pride. Mary demonstrates a far better response to the coming Messiah. She reminds herself how God loves the humble and poor in spirit. These words were spoken to her cousin Elizabeth. Finally, Mary could share HER story and tell how she’s really feeling about all of this. And yet, she is quick to praise Him.
“I am called to live in perfect relation to God so that my life produces a longing after God in other lives, not admiration for myself. “ –Oswald Chambers
When pride isn’t part of the equation, love simply forgets itself.
HOPE TO CLAIM:
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” James 4:10, NIV
Henry Drummond describes humility as, “To put a seal upon your lips and forget what you have done.”
I’m not suggesting that you refrain from speaking in the first person for the entire month, but I am encouraging us all to remember to use our words with purpose. The bridegroom is on the way, so let’s repeat the sounding joy!
CHALLENGE TO EMBRACE:
–Post this verse on a note card in your car. Remind yourself of Christ’s example as you drive in holiday traffic!
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:5-11
-A humble person is able to recognize their strengths and gifts and still give God the credit. Have the confidence to recognize greatness in others. Take time to encourage a friend, family member, or even an acquaintance in the special gifts they bring to the world.
Love is NOT PROUD.
Advent Resource: “Song of the Stars” by Sally Lloyd-Jones GIVEAWAY information right HERE! (Drawing closes on Thursday night, December 8th.)