An Honest Portrait

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled (ranked below others who are honored or rewarded), and he who humbles himself (keeps a modest opinion of himself and behaves accordingly) will be exalted (elevated in rank).”- Luke 14:11 (Amplified Version)

This verse speaks “Truth” into so many areas of our lives: the work place, the family, the Church, etc. We tend to think that we are being humble as long as we aren’t shouting our own praises from the roof-top with a megaphone. But sometimes, it’s not just the things we’re doing and saying that are motivated by pride, it’s the things that we aren’t doing and saying. For instance: it’s when we refrain from sharing Christ with others because we worry more about their opinion of us than we do about their salvation; it’s when we choose to not be honest about our short-comings and failings with those that we mentor because we have bought into the lie that we must be perfect to make a difference; it’s when we refuse to apologize to someone we’ve hurt because in our eyes, we are never wrong.

We all fall short, but thankfully we have a Savior who doesn’t! He is the very definition of perfection and in His grace, He has made it possible for us to walk in righteousness by clothing us in His own! Halleluiah! How wonderful it is that nothing is wasted, not even our failures! In fact, it’s our lack of perfection that God uses to reveal to us our need for a Savior. The fact that, given time, Christians eventually try to hide that need is actually rather comical if you think about it! It’s the foundation of our faith! What man/woman couldn’t do on their own, God did for them once and for all! God doesn’t need you to be perfect, He just needs you to know you’re not!

Like me, you have someone in your life that needs to know that you’re not perfect (a child, a grand-child, a parent, a sibling, a friend, a co-worker, an employee, a student, an in-law, etc.)… or maybe they themselves already know that you’re not perfect but could still benefit from hearing you say that you know you’re not- lol!

It will amaze you at how much this one step accomplishes regardless of the situation! As a parent of two young girls myself, I want to take a quick moment to address a couple of common problems among parent-child relationships: as parents, we often buy into the lie that if we share the mistakes we’ve made with our children, then we will be tempting them to make those same mistakes! That is a lie straight from the enemy’s mouth! He wants you to hide it because he knows that a testimony to God’s grace and a cautionary tale will do much to prevent others from following suit! Be aware however, that there is a difference between “sharing” and “bragging”. Don’t ever make the mistake of bragging about your sin to others (especially your children) because doing so may encourage them to make the same mistakes; instead, be honest about your mistakes but do so with a repentant heart. Another problem I’ve noticed among parents is the tendency to avoid apologizing to their children when they’ve done or said something hurtful. The good news is that no matter how much time has passed, if they’re still living, it’s never too late to humble yourself and apologize for those woundings. We can show our children no better example of what it means to be humble than when we model it in our own personal relationships with them and our spouses.

This life should be lived to the glory of the Father! Who cares if the people around you know you’re not perfect? Let your testimony (short-comings and all) point them to the One that is! I once heard someone say that if you truly want to mean something to someone, then let them know your faults. I personally know that there’s truth in that statement because it hasn’t been my successes and triumphs that God has been able to use most in my life to witness to others, its been my failures and short-comings! It’s my testimony of how God has stayed with me in the midst of all of my failure that seems to speak grace and life into the hearts of those I witness to.

So, let’s stop exalting ourselves by pretending to be something we’re not, and let’s start exalting God by loving others in Truth! Let us humbly paint an honest portrait of ourselves and thus a better picture of Christ and His Grace!!!!

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