For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. Romans 12:3
The Basic Bible Truth
Whether we want to admit or not, we all struggle with humility. God disdains a proud heart. But let’s make sure that we understand the Biblical definition of humility. Power under control. God does not look for us to turn into linguini-spined people. He wants to use our personalities and character traits for His kingdom. Some of the best known heroes of the Bible were believers with very strong personalities—but under God’s control.
A Toothpick Inside A Lathe Turning Inside A Paper Sack Inside A Box Inside A Box Inside A Box (Named Bob)
As I present the lesson, I am gradually “unboxing” Bob, explaining that there are things in his life that need to be changed.
If we are honest with God, we must admit that we have a tendency to think more of ourselves than we ought. We compare ourselves with others around us and are “glad that we are not that bad.” God warns us about living life that way. Our standard, our measurement that we judge our lives by, must be the Bible. God’s holiness is beyond our comprehension, and it is the standard that He says we must use. Absolute perfection is His demand upon us. Thankfully, He also knows that we will struggle intensely trying to accomplish this. Jesus Christ voluntarily died on a cross to pay the price for our imperfections, and that is the only way that God can even consider our lives as acceptable. Our standing before God is solely based upon the righteousness of Christ imputed into our lives at salvation.
God takes our despicable selves and, if we are willing, begins the process of making us more and more like His Son. In much the same way as a sculptor might create a magnificent statue, He works patiently on our lives. It is said that a young man asked a famous sculptor one day how he did such magnificent work. The reply was profound. He simply said that he removed everything from the block of marble that didn’t look like his subject. That is precisely how God works in our hearts and minds. His subject is the perfection of Jesus, and He is slowly but surely working in our lives to make us more like Him.
Sometimes there is sin in our lives that must be addressed before God will use us to our fullest measure. And that striving for the best that we can do should be the goal of each of our lives. Not that our work will gain us anything before God. We serve Him because we love Him and, as a result of our relationship with Him, we love others. That kind of attitude and outlook on life, will result in genuine joy for the believer, because it is then that we are in His perfect will, serving him.
One other pitfall must be avoided. I have met many people over the years that became quite proficient with their service to God, and unfortunately, also became arrogant and proud. The Bible is filled with stories of people who did not finish well. Their lack of humility was their undoing.
Bob started off as a dirty, ugly box, desperately needing help. He got cleaned up a bit when he became a slightly smaller box. Then, with more work, an even smaller, cleaner looking box. As time went on, an amazing looking lathed wood turning and the temptation for Bob was to look at himself and say “Wow, look at me!” But the question arises, what in the world can you do with one of those? The honest answer is, “Nothing”. Bob finally reaches his destiny—as a toothpick! A useful tool, the ultimate plan of his maker.
God does have plans for each of us. Some are grand. Some are simple. But all are important. We cannot allow our pride to interfere with our service to God. If He needs a toothpick, then may we joyfully be the best toothpick we can be!