My friend, may I ask you a question? Some have said that rue humility is perfect quietness of heart. Perhaps even more specifically could it be an attitude of having no trouble; never to be worried, irritated or disappointed? Is it to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to you, to feel nothing done against you at all?
Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner.
Do you get pumped up when someone praises you? On the other hand, how do you feel when the opposite holds true and you’re criticized? Even though it’s true that we feel good when praised and bad when criticized, scientists tell us that the emotion is pretty much the same. From a biologically standpoint, it involves the same chemical and electrical responses in our brain that produces both emotions. The real question is, as a Christian, is there a proper way to respond in either case? Keeping cool when praised and just as cool when you are criticized is definitely an art; an art that you and I as Christians really need to perfect.
Here’s a story: Abraham Lincoln once got caught up in a situation where he wanted to please a politician, so he issued a command to transfer certain regiments in the line of battle. When the Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, received the order, he refused to carry it out. He said that the President was a fool. Lincoln was told what Stanton had said, and he replied, “If Stanton said I’m a fool, then I must be, for he is nearly always right. I’ll see for myself.” As they talked, the President quickly realized that his decision was a serious mistake, and without hesitation he withdrew it. (Source Unknown.)
Humility is perfect quietness of heart. It is for me to have no trouble; never to be worried, irritated or disappointed. It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a home in the Lord where I can go and shut the door and kneel to my Father in secret and be at peace as in a deep sea of calmness when all around is trouble. That was the secret to Lincoln’s ability to be calm when criticized and to maintain that same calmness when praised. He subjected himself at all times to a higher authority, one that was always right and never makes mistakes. When we remember who gives us our victories and who as well accepts our defeats, it is easy to be cool knowing that even when others reject us or envy us, there is One who knows us better than all; He who made us in the first place. Cool!
We pray. Heavenly Father, You are the God of grace and mercy beyond all knowing. We praise You because in that grace and mercy You have taught us how to be humble and show mercy and grace to others even when they have not done so for us. Forgive us Lord when we are embittered by what others might say about us. Redirect our thinking so that we have the ability to weather whatever anyone has to say about us, good or bad. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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