Just so you don’t worry about me, I want to let you know that I probably won’t post anything again until school starts back next month.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you. – 1 Peter 5:6 (ESV)
Years ago, I was the king of needing exaltation. There is no way there was a needier guy on the planet. I just didn’t feel that I was receiving the rewards for all that I was doing. Then, I read this verse along with Colossians 3:23 and knew that I had to make a change. I prayed to God and asked Him to help me start working for the right reasons and to help me humble myself. For the first time in my life, I began to work for His approval and not the approval of people.
So, I did a couple of things. I asked another teacher to teach me how to teach. I listened to him and then did the stuff he suggested. I stopped reading all these coaching books written by these folks with the best of the best of everything and I just figured out how to maximize my team’s potential and play to their strengths. I cannot explain how much I enjoyed those next few years. Along with enjoying work and life, I was as close to God as I had ever been. Then, at the end of the school year when awards were given out, He just decided to exalt me like crazy. I’ll never forget it because I really felt like those awards were all straight from Him.
The more I think about this, we American Christians live in a world where it is almost impossible for God to exalt us. We are too good at exalting ourselves. Facebook has become such a tool for self-exaltation. It is practically our own shrine to ourselves where we actually believe others are supposed to care what we think about anything and everything. We are constantly trying to get the world to look at us and what we do and what we are accomplishing.
Now, I’m not saying there is necessarily anything wrong with posting on Facebook. It’s certainly not a sin, but surely you see how it could be. I’ve heard students talk about “likes” on Facebook and thought, “Their entire self-worth is based on how many people click on a stupid button.” If you really think about it from the perspective of the Bible and the fact that there really is nothing new under the Sun, then we are basically idolaters saying, “Bow down to me and this shrine I’ve built to myself!”
Ok, so maybe that was a little extreme, but the point is that I had way too long of a spell where I cared about how many people hit the “like” button on my posts. That is the opposite of humbling yourself under the mighty hand of God. Worse, I have really been convicted about teaching “Facebook approval” to my kids. I’ve posted videos of my kids and basically said, “Look at what people are saying about you and how much they approve.”
What was I thinking?
The opposite of 1 peter 5:6, I know that.
Recently, my daughter did something really good by the world’s standards. My first inclination was to get my phone and plaster it on Facebook. I knew she’d be exalted. But, I thought of this verse and did something else instead. I told her myself how proud I was of her and that I thought we should celebrate. I told her she could pick the place and the whole family would go out for lunch. She enjoyed that and probably got tired of me hugging her, kissing her, and telling her how much I loved her and was proud of her. Tonight is our “date night” and you can bet that I’ll be doting on her some more.
My prayer is that as she gets older, she will not need man’s approval, but only the approval of Her Heavenly Father. The best thing I can be is a picture of humility that she can look at constantly.
Lord, help me to be an example of humility in a world where arrogance is exalted. Help my kids learn how to be from me. Help me live a life that you exalt in due time. I can’t imagine better words to hear than, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”