Sometimes humility is just what we need in order to recognize our own weakness and ask God for strength through repentance.
“He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way” (Proverbs 25:9).
I still remember when my oldest was three, my husband sat me down and told me that I could not talk to her the way I had developed a habit of talking to her. It was harsh, angry, and impatient. I had a defiant child and didn’t know how to handle her (and, obviously, myself).
Whatever It Takes
An essential aspect of our sanctification is ongoing repentance, a resolve to walk by the Spirit, and a plan at times when we’re stuck. It often means we need to humble ourselves and ask for help! We also must consider the question, “Am I willing to do whatever it takes to change?”
This is when living in a solid, biblical community is a gift, and we see God’s beautiful design and His “forness” of us. It can be scary and embarrassing asking for help. Ask me how I know. I am a woman who has been (and still is) in need of much help.
When we are indeed at the end of ourselves and understand what we’re called to – loving God and others – we will want to change and be willing to do whatever it takes. We realize that so much is at stake! In Galatians 5: 13, Paul tells his readers that they were to use their freedom to love.
Love motivates change.
So, back to my story– I knew the kind of woman and mom I wanted to be, but I didn’t know how to be her. The mothering modeled to me was one without emotional self-control – so yes, on the one hand, I was at a disadvantage. But I was the one sinning! I needed to take responsibility for myself, and because I love my God, my husband, and my children, I needed to pursue help. I was finally at the end of myself.
So, tearfully and with embarrassment, I confessed my sin to an older woman and asked her for help.
And guess what? She graciously encouraged me and helped in very practical ways. I am so thankful! I’ve received this sort of help many times because, as I said, I need a lot of help.
I love how Paul Tripp and Tim Lane describe this in their book, How People Change:
“Another component of Christian growth involves saying no to what is harmful and yes to the things that produce life and godliness. Here, Christian friendships not only help us see something (the love of God); they also help us to do something (obey God). Both are important and must be kept together as we think about the Christian life. Christian friendships do not simply help us bask in the sunshine of God’s grace; they also help us to roll up our sleeves and strive after holiness.”
They quote Titus 2:11-14 and comment, “The ultimate goal of God’s grace is an active, healthy, unified body of believers, a full-fledged family free from sin and it’s slavery. It is this people, purified and zealous for good works, that is God’s precious inheritance….we need each other’s help as we learn to say yes and no to the right things! Paul calls believers to live in a way that helps others to be built up as well as built together.”
The church is a community of believers who are for each other, want to help one another, and recognize our desperate need for the Savior in their own lives.
Mark 12:28-31 is a foundational, helpful passage that underscores what our priorities in life should be. When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus responded,
“The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
I hope you are in a community with brothers and sisters who want to know and love God more. If you find yourself in need of help, please ask! The Lord has ordained that they are the ones you’re in community with, and He wants us to learn from and help one another.
It is humbling to ask for help (again, ask me how I know!), but I believe the Lord blesses that humility. And it’s important to remember what Paul tells us in Ephesians 4,
“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
In His Word
Col 3:12, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience..”
Consider whether or not you’re willing to put on humility to pursue change.
In Your Life
Have you reached out for help recently? Write down the names of two or three women you respect and trust and consider pursuing them for counsel.
Sometimes it’s wise to pursue more intensive discipleship in the form of counseling. If you don’t have a counselor available to you through your local church, consider seeking a Biblical Counselor through the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors.