Thursday, March 05, 2009

Of Dogs

Tonight was another amazing night at Bible study. Ashley's lesson was out of Mark 7:24-30, one of the most challenging passages in the Bible. In it, Jesus miraculously heals a pagan woman's daughter because she comes to him with extreme humility. It's a very deep story, with a lot of cultural and historical subtleties - which, in the context of the original story, weren't subtle at all. We focused mainly on two ideas: that Jesus offends the proud, but shows mercy on the humble.

I tend to be less humble with my desires and more passive-aggressive. If I want something I don't have, I'll more often settle into feelings of entitlement and self-pity rather than going to the God who loves me and asking, knowing that He's already given me more good things than I deserve. I really should know better by now. Especially with the way God has been answering prayer at Crossroads.

"You want something but don't get it," James writes. "You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." (James 4:2-3)

It's easy for me to remember that I'm the scum of the earth, and I deserve death over blessing. I just can't seem to keep that fact and this one in my head at the same time: God is gracious, generous and, again, actually loves me. One or the other, I can comprehend with no problem. But the two ideas don't go together in my head, because of my backwards, performance-based concept of love.

Humility is both recognizing oneself as broken, and accepting the love offered by a perfect God.

No comments: