“So what?” He asked me while I vehemently complained in my mind about how I had been wronged. “You haven’t been wronged like I’ve been wronged,” He gently, but pointedly, reminded me. “Does your suffering really compare to Mine? Are you sinless and therefore undeserving? Can you be like Me in your heart and trust that there is purpose in this?”
On occasion, I hear Jesus in my mind. It’s not audible, dramatic, overwhelming, or even mystical. It’s just like Elijah heard it: “a still small voice”. To be honest, it’s almost unremarkable. The only reason I know it’s Him is because when He speaks to me this way, His message typically doesn’t align with what I’m thinking or feeling in the moment and it’s always attached to a thought from Scripture.
The earlier conversation with God happened after an argument with my husband. I was indignant because I had felt unfairly judged. I honestly can’t remember what the argument was about, but I remember praying angrily to God while violently hanging up clothes in my closet.
On occasion, I hear Jesus in my mind. It’s just like Elijah heard it: “a still small voice”
His words quickly deflated the injustice that fuelled my silent rant though. I realised that it was my pride that had been so deeply wounded. Could I choose to respond in humility and allow God to work things out — or would I work to make sure that I vindicated myself?
Humility is an attribute of Jesus that I desire with all my heart — and yet fight with every fibre of my being. The problem is my desire to be like Jesus is what He wants for me; however, the desire to be loved, accomplished, right, and understood by others is what my flesh wants for me. In his letter to the believers in Philippi, Paul says this of Christ:
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage; rather, He made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Philippians 2:6-8
Also in the book of Isaiah, Isaiah prophesies about Jesus and describes Him like this:
I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. Isaiah 50:6-7
I can’t get over the magnitude of what Scripture says. Jesus, who is Sovereign God, Creator and Sustainer gave up His glory and status for His undeserving, rebellious, ungrateful creation. He allowed Himself, without complaint, to be disgraced in order to save us. I marvel at His strength. Only a powerful person can love others without concern of repayment.
Only a powerful person can love others without concern of repayment
Jesus did not need or receive anything from mankind. He was never a people pleaser, as if that would afford Him some higher standing among men. Every act of humility and sacrifice was fuelled by love and the knowledge of Who He is in the Godhead. He never doubted His identity as the Son of God nor did He doubt that God would glorify Him in due time. His desire was to accomplish the will of God — it was more powerful than self-interest or self-preservation.
As children of God, we are asked to imitate Him in His humility. The redeemed have an equally glorious inheritance awaiting them. We are loved with a perfect love by the Sovereign Creator. When we choose to humble ourselves instead of avenging ourselves, we hand the controls over to God. Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right (Genesis 18:25)?
It is an act of faith to lay down our rights for others, but it is also an act of worship. However, like Christ, it must be done willingly in response to our love for God not because we fear what man can do.
In what relationships is God asking you to back down? Does the Saviour ask too much?
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