I am a young Christian, (not to mention a young human), so I don't want to ever pretend to know a lot about God (or anything else for that matter). However, I learned something about God this week that I believe is worth sharing.
I don't know if you've ever prayed and asked God for humility before, but let me tell you it is a scary prayer to pray. The way God answers prayer has always been a mystery to me, but one thing is no longer a mystery. If you pray for humility, God will answer that prayer every. single. time...And he will usually answer quickly.
I prayed for humility several times over the last week and I thought I'd share some examples of how God answered those prayers (usually within hours of me praying). Some of these are comical and more along the lines of embarrassing moments that reminded my of my idiocy, but some are serious shots to my pride. The following things have happened to me on the same days which I have prayed and asked for God to give me humility:
- I wore a t-shirt to what I thought was a casual day at work...everyone else was still wearing business casual.
- Someone opened the stall door, which I swear I had locked, and interrupted me while I was doing my business. The person was so startled that he turned and walked briskly out of the bathroom, leaving my stall door wide open for me to wave to the next guy that came in.
- I got denied from law school for the sixth time. That one stung.
- I had to say no to going out to dinner with some friends because I couldn't afford it, which was not only humbling, but also it brought up all of my insecurities about trusting God to provide for me. Double whammy.
- I was working on a draft of an email with some ideas that I was planning on sending to someone that I would like to do work for, and two lines into the email I somehow magically pressed send on accident. The following email was sent: "Here are some preliminary ideas that I have had since our phone conversation. First idea:" That's all. I literally sent an email saying I have no ideas. I looked like an idiot.
The moral of the story is this: be careful what you pray for. I'm not suggesting that we shouldn't pray for humility because pride-shattering things will happen to us (although they probably will), but I am saying that we should pray and expect God to answer. Because the crazy thing is, HE WILL ANSWER. I often believe the lie that whatever I'm praying for is landing on deaf ears, but that simply isn't true.
If you don't believe me, read Matthew 7:7, Romans 8:26, 1 Samuel 1-2, John 11, and Jeremiah 29:11. God listens to prayers, and he is prepared to answer anything that is prayed according to his will. So is humility a good thing to pray for? I think so. Ephesians 4:2, Philippians 2:3, James 4:10 and countless other verses portray the value of humility in the Christian walk. Humility makes us more like Jesus. Philippians 2:8 says, "He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."
Jesus was the perfect example of humility, and his example is worth following. The thing is, following Jesus' example can be hard. It can be embarrassing. It can hurt. It can be humbling. And those are all good things, right? I'm not sure. Sometimes I don't want to be embarrassed, or hurt, or humbled, but if any of those things get me closer to the image of Jesus, then I count them as worth it.
So I guess I'm going to keep praying for humility. We'll see how God chooses to answer me next. I'm sure it won't take long...