Nothing to prove

1 Samuel 15:10-21

Many people struggle with humility.

Some of us have a hard time humbling ourselves. That may be because of our life’s accomplishments. Obviously, we couldn’t have done all this if we weren’t capable and skilled. Likewise, our possessions may make it difficult to factor in a humble spirit. These are things I worked for, things I earned. Now, you can acknowledge what you’ve worked for and accomplished and still be humble. But there’s an inward attitude many of us deal with that can steer us away from humility.

Others of us have too much humility. At least on the surface. We suffer from false humility. Then again, there are people who feel they are no good. There isn’t anything they can do right. They aren’t prepared for anything. They are the lowest of the low. Now, I don’t say this jokingly. If that’s how you feel, consider talking with a professional counselor. You are a part of God’s good creation! You were not created to feel that way.

Discovering a true sense of humility comes with living and learning. You realize you do have gifts and worth. You also learn other people do, too. And the joy of life is watching each other flourish.

Without this kind of humility we run the risk of needing to prove ourselves to God. We need to prove we’re worthy of God’s love. Worthy of forgiveness and compassion. The trap of proving how hard working we are and even how faithful we can be relies on our failed humility. 

God rejected Saul because he “turned back from following” God. Saul’s instruction was to “utterly destroy” the Amalekites (1 Samuel 15:3). Saul mostly obeyed. But he kept the finest animals and valuables to use as an offering to God. When the prophet Samuel confronted Saul, he said, “Though you are little in your own eyes, are you not the head of the tribes of Israel?”

Perhaps Saul felt he had to make up for his littleness. So, he brought more than God asked for to prove himself worthy to be called by God. And he probably felt good about it. But God chose him to model obedience to the people. Saul’s struggle with humility led him and the people away from obedience.

Thinking too lowly of yourself doesn’t acknowledge God’s good work within you. Thinking too much of yourself keeps you from noticing the goodness of God. The perfect spot between those two feelings is thankfulness. Thankfulness for who you are and what you can accomplish.

With a thankful heart, we don’t have to strive to prove ourselves to God. We are free to live in joyful obedience to the Lord.

Stay blessed…john

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John Fletcher

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