Have you ever opened your mouth only to quickly realize that you are choking on your own toes? Well I did that the other day and it was great. Obviously it was in retrospect that I realized the greatness that I am talking about–a greatness that only comes with an acceptance of God’s grace. I say that we need God’s grace because a lot of the time, when we make mistakes people hold us to them whereas God does not even remember our errors when we let them go. Unfortunately, people rarely share this dimension of grace. That’s why a lot of us have it in our heads that we have to be “perfect” all of the time. As a consequence, when most of us make mistakes we try to hide it from everyone to include ourselves. But my experience has led me to agree with Paul that God’s strength is made perfect in weakness. That is, when we are concerned about showing ourselves to be perfect to the world, God is giving us the opportunity to be perfected through humility.
Now that might not sound all that awesome if you are concerned with looking good all of the time. And if your ego is running your life, your desire to always be right will cause you to justify your ignorance. We all do it. But I am telling you from experience that the sooner we can admit to ourselves that we slipped up, the sooner we can get on with it. I have put myself through more junk trying to explain myself out of mistakes than I ever have from just realizing where I was off. And the awesome thing is that at least as I have witnessed it, God has been quick to turn my foolishness into wisdom as soon as I was willing to give it up. I know I have talked about Psalm 139 where David declares the light and the dark are both the same to God. That’s where I am coming from when I say all of this. There is no loss in God. God is the infinite Giver of all good and perfect things and we are the receivers. When it comes to wisdom, what we don’t get is what we don’t receive. The thing is you can’t receive if you are already full of it. Humility is nothing less than being in receiving mode. When we are willing to receive what God is giving even the darkness shines.
But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”