In Ripped Jeans on Bended Knees

Sooner or later, my jeans all end up with holes in the knees.

This might be partially because I buy the cheaper brands or jeans from the op shop, where they’ve already been worn in a bit.

But it’s largely because I just spend a lot of time on my knees. I was thinking about this recently…

On any given day, I will be on my knees picking up toys, sweeping the kitchen floor, strapping the toddler into his high chair, bathing the kids, retrieving food from under the table, hugging the kids, having a “look at Mummy’s eyes” talk with a little one, reading an impromptu story, playing with toys and putting things away under the beds.

The posture of kneeling is one that evokes ideas of service, humility and prayer.

I’ve been thinking through how these three ideas relate to each other, especially as 2018 approaches and I think about which “word for the year” I would like to focus on. (This year my word has been “Discipline”.)

Humility is something that keeps coming to mind as an area I need and want to grow in.

And while I sure do spend a lot of time on my knees, serving those in my family, how much of this is done with a truly humble spirit, versus a spirit of pride or resentment?

So I’ve had these thoughts of humility and service and kneeling swirling around my head, trying to figure out how they are connected, and what I should focus on in my plans for next year.

Naturally, I come to this passage in Philippians 2:

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,  not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

Here is what we learn about humility from this passage:

  • Humility is a mindset.
  • Humility means we should value others above ourselves and look to their interests.
  • Jesus was equal with God, but he still “humbled himself” and “made himself nothing”. Humility means not clinging onto our rights or our position – it means not thinking that something is “below” us.
  • Jesus was obedient to God, even to death on a cross. We should be obedient to God’s plan, even if we don’t like it.
  • The ultimate purpose of humility is God’s glory.

And I love how we also see kneeling in this passage – that Jesus humbled himself, and then God lifted him up and one day every knee will bow before him.

Why? Because he is the King and he deserves all our worship and service!

It’s a beautiful reminder to me, in all my daily kneeling and serving, that everything I do should be done as worship to the Lord Jesus. This is true humility – to see our rightful position before God and to accept it with thanks.

 

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:17

 

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P.S. Credit to my friend Jo for the title 😉

 

 

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Thank You, Lord, That I am Not Like This Paedophile

Every time a news story breaks about a new case of child sexual abuse or a child porn user, a slew of people rush to the comments section to declare their thoughts about the criminal.

“Scum of the earth…”

“Bring back the death penalty…”

“Let him stay with the general population in prison, see how he likes that…”

In one sense, I can relate. Nothing sickens me more than the thought of people hurting and abusing children, especially since I’ve had kids of my own. At times, I’ve read details of these horrific cases and felt a burst of rage, and contemplated what justice might look like for that person.

 

Justice.

We all want justice, don’t we?

We all want to see these vile offenders pay for the wrong they have done and the harm they have caused.

So we put ourselves firmly in the seat of Judge, and we mete out what we would consider Justice. I have to laugh at the incongruity here, given one of the maxims of our day is “don’t judge”…

“Don’t judge” – unless the person you’re judging is a paedophile.

“Don’t judge” – unless it’s someone who is clearly way worse than you.

“Don’t judge” – unless it’s publicly acceptable to do so.

 

Do you think you’re better than a paedophile?

That’s not a trick question.

Are you a better person than a paedophile?

 

Have a read of what Jesus has to say in Luke 18:9-14:

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Don’t trust in yourself that you are righteous. Fall on your knees before God.

Ask for His mercy.

Because He can see inside your heart, and He knows you aren’t righteous.

He saw every time you lied. Every time you kindled the fire of hatred against another human being. Every time you lashed out in anger, whether with words or with hands. Every time you ignored Him. Every time you put someone else before Him. Every time you satisfied your lust. Every time you put desire for things above love for people. Every time you clamoured to get more than you need. Every time you deliberately deceived someone.

There is no one righteous, not even one.

Step out of the Judge’s seat, and onto the floor with the sinners.

I promise there is enough mercy to go around.

 

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