During the last two Listening on the Journey… blog posts, I discussed what I call ‘Divine Discontentment.’
Divine Discontentment is more than personal ambition, although a certain level of ambition is essential because Divine calling is never a call to “easy.” Lots of meaningful and purposeful work will be required!
Divine Discontentment is more than the Army slogan, “Be all that you can be.” Instead, it is a deep desire to “Become all that God designed you to be.”
Divine Discontentment isn’t about achieving success in order to earn lots of money, climb the corporate ladder, or outrun personal demons, even though any one of these might occur since God is described in Scripture as a Heavenly Father who loves to give good gifts to his children. (Matthew 7:11)
Divine Discontentment doesn’t lead to a life of self-indulgence, but rather a life filled with the Fruit of the Spirit of self-control.
The voice of Divine Discontentment has prompted me to say more than once: “I’m sorry, God, I know, ‘It’s not about me. It’s all about Thee!’” That’s because when I say, “Yes,” to the voice of Divine Discontentment, my motivation is to serve God and others with humility.
So, what is humility?
I contemplated this question a few months ago after several conversations with a friend. The woman is attractive. She’s smart and well educated. She’s talented and has enjoyed numerous successes. She enjoys a good marriage and rich relationships. The voice of Divine Discontentment is speaking to her, and yet she feels uncertain of and insecure about taking the next step.
My friend has an aversion to being prideful, which is commendable. I wonder, however, if this aversion prevents her from seeing the gifts and strengths she possesses as tools God desires to use rather than potential liabilities.
As a result of conversations with my friend and wrestling with thoughts about the essence of God-honoring humility, I arrived at this definition:
Humility is grasping clearly my strengths and my weaknesses, being neither impressed nor distressed with either.
Often, it’s easier to acknowledge our weaknesses and inadequacies than to assess accurately our gifts and strengths. That has certainly been a powerful, recurring theme in my story! One portion of Scripture helpful to me comes from the practical chapter of Romans 12. Verse 3 says in part, Do not think of yourself more highly [my addition: ‘or more lowly’] than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment…
I want to conclude today’s post with another practical portion of Scripture. The New Testament book of James has a way of summarizing succinctly God-honoring principles. Regarding the matter of humility, James says:
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor. (James 4:10 NLT)
If the fear of becoming prideful is keeping you from saying, “Yes” to the voice of Divine Discontentment, I hope these brief thoughts have encouraged you.
Blessings as you journey toward “Yes!”…