Archive for Humility

Embracing Humility pt 2

-Always remember that there is a HUGE gap between being the best and being my best. Between being the most excellent and reaching my potential and defining my own level of excellence. I know it’s hard because I’m prone to low self-esteem and to feeling second best. Or third. Or fourth. But God gave me each and every talent that I have today. He did not accidently give me too much or too little. He knew exactly what he was doing and made me uniquely, to live out a very specific purpose he has for my life. I don’t have to be the best singer, and I know that’s hard to hear when I’m so easy to criticize myself. But I just have to be my own pursonal best, doing what I can do, and then letting go and letting God take care of the rest. I don’t have to be the smartest, most talented, most charming, most anything. I just have to love God with everything in me and realize he made me with certain strengths and weaknesses, and I need to embrace them. Improve where I can, but let go of what I cannot control.

-Don’t fret so much that I don’t have a boyfriend. Don’t fret that I’ve made a promise to God that I won’t have sex until marriage. It is something difficult to achieve but I find strength on the day to day basis dealing with this, when I have faith in Christ. I know it hurts really bad to be alone. But don’t be angry at God and understand that he sees the painful things you go through, he sees when the depression sets in and when I feel dead to myself and to the world, he sees each and every tear that I cry. He sees how I ask for his help time and time again and don’t see the immediate effects and how I get so frustrated and start to break down. Christ said that he has overcome the world. That means he has overcome every bad feeling, every thought, every fear, every ache, every pain. That doesn’t mean we will cease to feel these things but it really does mean that we can trust that he has the strength to help us overcome our constant, irritating probllems. He has not given up on me. He never will.

-Stop worrying that some people don’t see the love in me, that some don’t see how much I have truly invested in Christ Jesus. Just realize that he does; he sees every time I struggle for him, every time I fight for him, every time I give to him, every time I am living for him, every time I’m dying for him or breaking for him. The world doesn’t have to see, because he does, and he certainly will not let such love go unacknowledged.

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Don’t look at how handsome Eliab is or how tall he is, because I have not chosen him. God does not see the same way people see. People look at the outside of a person, but the Lord looks at the heart.'” 1 Samuel 16:7

It’s certainly difficult to embrace humility in some of the more painful areas of our lives, and these are a handful of mine. But you can see through my experiences that good starts to come out of it by doing so. Trust, just trust. Do the very best that you can, and once you have done that, realize that that is all you can do. Then just let go and let God.

Embracing Humility pt 1

In my walk with God, I’m trying to let go of having to be noticed, having to be the most popular, having to be the most successful by the standards of the world.

I need to let go and…

-Stop worrying about not being popular for being me. It doesn’t matter if people know the name ‘Jennifer Clayton’ or not. While I am trying to be an influence in the world, sometimes I just need to relax and realize that Jesus is the only name people need to have left ringing in their heads and their hearts. I am to influence people to love him, not me. I am a messenger but I am certainly not the message.

-Stop worrying about that guy who hurt me really bad. He probably doesn’t realize how bad he hurt me, and I may never be able to really confront him about it, and that’s okay. He did shatter my heart and leave me as half of a person at the time, but I’ve learned to embrace the humility, compassion, and forgiveness that Jesus has. It’s not okay that he hurt me, but it’s okay to let go. God has taught me through this experience to trust in him more instead of trusting in myself. He is allowing me to see the beautiful side of forgiveness. It doesn’t mean that you’ve been defeated, but rather, that you have set yourself free. It doesn’t mean that the guy wins, but that I do. Because until someone lets go of a grudge and bitterness, they can’t ever be free; and the pain will not let go of them until they let go of it. I learned this the hard way but it’s okay. Forgive as Jesus forgives, and he will forgive me. When I see the guy with his partner, I feel how free it feels to truly not care and to not be upset, and I’m reminded that forgiving like Jesus got rid of the pain.

-Don’t get caught up in trying to be the most beautiful; don’t be obsessed with vanity. God sees that I have a beautiful heart and spirit, and that shines infinitely brighter than any physical beauty. A beautiful girl may turn heads, but a beautiful soul will turn hearts and change the world. The love that pours out of me will encourage people, bless people, heal people, change people, because it is God’s love that pours out of me. Sometimes I feel so ugly when I look in the mirror and it’s easy to emotionally abuse myself. But I desperately pray that God will remind me of my true beauty inside, and let me know that that means so much more to him than anything else.

-Stop worrying about money. I have always been big on saving, and I always tithe my first 10% with a grateful and happy heart. But sometimes I’m afraid I will get so caught up in trying to hold on to money that when God wants to use it to advance his kingdom, I will get stressed out about it and not know what to do. Embrace humility Jennifer, and trust that God will take care of my finances so long as I continue to put him first, and with a joyous heart. Just trust him to take care of whatever financial situation I find myself caught in, and he will be there to catch me when I fall. It’s his money in the first place, and he knows how to invest it a lot better than I do. I don’t want to get caught up in investing money in temporary, material things. I want to get caught up investing money into souls, seeing people reach Christ.

I am embracing humility.

God’s Calling for Our Lives

Sometimes, I feel afraid to live out my dreams. Everyone in this world that you run into, has an effect on you, whether you realize it or not. The people I am surrounded by make me feel so small, like I don’t even matter. I’ve always felt sincerely inadequate at some time in my life.

Loving God gives me purpose in life, but it doesn’t eliminate my feeling of alienation and inadequacy. I am trying to learn to be careful. This world can be very heartless and it will be quick to try to shut you up when you start talking about dreams.

People, left and right, will make you feel like your dreams and life are stupid because of what you want to do. I feel terrified everyday because I want to be on stage, playing music, worshipping God. Like a rockstar but I don’t have to be famous at all. I simply want to be on stage, worshipping God through the music I write.

People will tell me I can’t make money from that, or tell me I need a real job, but that’s what I want to do. Then later in life, when I’m a lot older, I feel called to preach. I am sure when I start really pursuing that, people will make me feel like my dreams are stupid at some point.

It also depends on who you surround yourself with. If you have loving, supportive friends, they will tell you to go on with your dreams. But there always seems to be some ‘realist’ who claims these dreams are unrealistic and unattainable.

I have sat in classrooms year after year trying to wrap my head around my dreams. I no doubt feel God nudging me in this direction, which is always important in deciding your goals in life.

But I feel so terrified sometimes that I try to imagine myself doing anything else: teaching in a school, working at a desk job, being a waitress, a nurse, fireman, vet, chef, anything else. But year after year, I turn back to music. Nothing else feels right besides singing and worshipping God right now. When I write music, I feel my happiest. There isn’t anything more satisfying than finishing a song and singing to Jesus.

Other people may act like writing music is so difficult, but it has always come so naturally to me. I hear rhythms and melodies in my head, I hear guitars playing, and I write them down. Poetic verses flow out effortlessly, and then I pick up my guitar and start creating music.

It’s healing for my soul, it’s freedom from this box called my life. I just want to scream how happy it makes me. Music and God, God and music. I write songs left and write, post them on YouTube, desperately try to find somewhere to play or a band to play with.

I say all of that to say this. In life, God will definitely call us to do certain things. They are not always what we expect. One time, when my mom was younger, she heard God told her that she was supposed to work with children, and she was like, “Ugh, I hate children!” I hope she doesn’t still feel the same way, seeing how I am… her child. I am guessing she was pretty young at the time, like me. But sometimes, God calls us to do things that we are naturally gifted at, like music, for me.

The point is, in this crazy mixed-up life, he will call us to do things that we love and things that we don’t really care for. But he has a reason for wanting us to do those things. Most of the time, we don’t understand why he wants what he want for us, at least not at the time. Over time, if we trust him and do what he asks us to do, it will be revealed to us. He will teach you things you never knew before, show you how to look at life from a different from perspective.

I have a friend named Meg who was working on pursuing architecture in school. But she felt God was wanting her to do something in English, instead. She told me that at first it was really odd, but the more she looked into it, the more she realized it made sense and how English was for her. If she just ignored his voice, she could have missed out on something fabulous. It’s interesting how people will resist God over and over and when they finally decide to listen to him, he *gasp* actually knew what he was talking about! Imagine that. 😀

I find it shocking that after my mom rejected her calling so many years ago, even today, she will sometimes talk about the idea of children’s books. She always wants me to pursue that because of my artistic skills, but she may have actually been writing those books her self if she would have listened.

The point is, when we listen to God, it feels like a huge risk, but it is the greatest investment you can ever make. I am learning in my walk with Christ that trust is so vital. He will take us to new levels and give us new and better understanding. He will help us live our lives to the fullest if we would only trust and obey him. We’ve got to stop making doing what we want the number one priority, and start making what he wants us to do number one.

He can make us happier than we can make ourselves. He created us, and understands us through and through; our every mechanism, our every heart beat, our every thought and our every feeling. He understands why we do everything that we do, better than we do. So why not trust him? We may only see one path on this map of our life, but he sees all the paths. And guess what? I can assure you that he knows how to get to every destination along the way.

At the end of the day, we cannot be bullied out of his plans for us by what the world says. They will say we are wrong, we are inadequate, and make us feel like failures if we let them. If we hold tight to Jesus and continue to have faith, we will see the beautiful reality of all his plans for us. The world wants to try to take that away from you. We cannot let our own arrogance or the arrogance of others get the best of us.

God is waiting for you to trust him.

A Prayer

We should be careful to make sure that our prayers to God are not just words to fill empty space. I read A Prayer by Gary Block. It talked about how people sometimes pray to God, just using repetitive prayer to ask God for things.

Usually, these prayers are part of tradition. Like for example, at my house, we have a dinner prayer that typically goes “God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food…” and you should already know the rest.

Sometimes the meanings get lost in all the repetition. We say the prayers because we feel like we should say them or just because we always say them before we eat. But we should say prayers for more than just that.

Why do you pray?

I pray to express my love for the Lord. To thank Him for blessing me with food, food that many others are not fortunate to have. I thank Him for my family and the relationships I have with my friends. I pray to express my joy of having His strength in my life.

When I pray, I take care to make sure that I am not just saying empty words. I pray as if I am His friend, and I am speaking to His heart, like a friend would speak to another friend.

Some people would argue that prayer doesn’t work. But I would say otherwise. I think the more we put our heart into it, the more we have faith that God will take care of us when we pray, the more intently He listens to our prayers.

Think about it! If we respect Him and love Him enough to pray sincerely, it makes sense that He would return that love back to us. Why would He listen to a prayer from an insincere heart? Why should He listen to an apathetic voice? Voices that seem distant in their love and attitude?

If I had a friend and they were insincere and fake, I would not waste my time on them. But if they really cared about me and took time to really talk to me, I would return the favor.

When I go to bed at night, I try to make sure my prayers are not mundane mantras that I say over and over again to no avail. I want to let God know what’s on my mind, on my heart. I ask Him for what I need and try to remain humble and ask for what others need, too.

That’s another important part of prayer: humility. Realizing that the needs of others sometimes should be put above our own needs. Instead of praying for more money or clothes, I might pray that my friend stops feeling sick or that my sister stops fighting with dad, or that someone in poverty might receive some grace from God and have their physical and emotional needs met.

It can be a battle, I know. But we must fight against meaningless prayers and be sure we are sincere with our words. Because I can assure you, God will return that sincerity. He may answer your prayers in big ways, or small ways that are barely noticeable, but that still make a difference. He could answer it soon after you ask, or months or even years after you ask. He could answer it in a way that you don’t expect Him to answer it, which is typically how He answers my prayers. However, one thing always remains the same: He is always willing to listen to a loving and caring heart.

Anger and Bitterness part 6- Humility and Forgiveness

We ultimately have to learn to forgive, and move on with our lives. We can’t hold all that anger and bitterness in. It can wreck our relationship with those around us and with Christ. Sometimes, you are really wronged. Sometimes, people do go too far, cause too many problems and too much drama. But at the end of the day, we are still called to forgive.

Let me stop right here and say that that doesn’t mean that it will be easy. Sometimes, forgiving is one of the hardest things to do. Forgive that person, after all the damaged they caused you? Forgive yourself? Why should you?

I can’t count how many times I have felt betrayed, back-stabbed, or whatever. People have made me so angry I didn’t know what to do, time and time again. I ultimately do forgive the people who have hurt me, but depending on how deep the wound, it could a short amount of time or a very long amount of time for you to heal. It once took me a couple years to forgive someone.

A good thing about forgiveness is that when you finally work up the courage to, and your heart becomes big enough to, you finally get over all the bitterness. You know how sometimes when you refuse to forgive someone, you say “no way! I am never going to let go of it! They hurt me so much!” Have you ever noticed that when you won’t let it go, that pain won’t ever let you go? The more you think about the person, the angrier you get, and the more you feel that pain they caused. But when you forgive, you stop thinking about them, that anger dwindles down, and the pain finally really goes away!

I know this from experience. When I forgave someone who broke my heart, I wasn’t angry at them anymore, I didn’t want them to die, I wasn’t in pain because they ignored me, it was like I was totally uninhibited. I didn’t think of them and wince or cry or anything, as I did before I forgave them. I was perfectly fine. But that was after a couple years and some hard work. I had to focus on other things in my life and stop obsessing over that one thing. I had to spend time with God, reflecting on ways to heal, and how to fix my horrible decisions. I had to pray and ask God to forgive me for holding so much anger in.

One reason we should forgive is because God forgives us when we forgive others.

“Don’t judge others, and you will not be judged. Don’t accuse others of being guilty, and you will not be accused of being guilty. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. ” Luke 6:37

Every mistake we make, every heartache we cause our Father- if we can turn away from the bad things we’ve done and sincerely apologize, God will forgive us. Every time he saw us lie or cheat or be proud or anything, he never stopped loving us. Then who are we to stop loving him when he challenges us? Who are we to stop loving others when they are challenging for us?

Did you realize that while Jesus was on the cross, he was forgiving all of those people who abused him and beat him and mocked him? He was forgiving those who persecuted and executed him? He was forgiving those who were cheering because he was bleeding and dying? Thinking of that makes me feel so small, and so I wonder: who the heck am I not to forgive?

Pray that God will give you the strength to be able to get over your bitterness. It’s not easy, but certainly you can do it with the Lord’s help. God knows it when you trust in him for help. He can help to take away that pain and brokenness inside. I know from experience. If you can learn to say “I forgive what they did to me, I won’t hold it against them anymore”, God will do the same, and turn his head away from your sins and the bad you do. He will treat us how we treat others.

Anger and Bitterness part 5- Suffering in the World

A lot of people are bitter with God because of the suffering in the world. “How could a loving God be so cruel?” They might say. They have good reason to wonder. But I feel many people are misguided in the conclusions they come to.

It doesn’t mean God is a horrible father- but you only understand my point of view when you begin to understand why people suffer in the world in the first place.

Well, some countries really prosper, while others struggle. In some countries, like in my country, the US, people have jobs (for the most part), have nice houses, cars, money, and they can live the life they want (again, for the most part). If someone wants to go to school, they can go to school. We don’t worry about racism and prejudices nearly as much as we used to, we have a government that listens to the voice of people, and tries to treat everyone fairly.

In other countries, children starve to death, families suffer from diseases, don’t have homes, and embrace absolute poverty. There is danger all around, and people really don’t know what to do.

This is where some people get angry, hating God because of the suffering. Well, as sinful creatures, we are naturally selfish. We want what is best for us, even if it costs others. It’s not that we don’t actually want to help, but more so the fact that we get so wrapped up in our own busy lives, we forget to notice how much we already have, and how little others have.

As Christians, God gives us the awesome responsibility to reach the world. In a world that can often lack sympathy and love, we are supposed to share sympathy and love. We are called to shine brighter than the world, and draw people in with our integrity and our genuine care for the well-beings of others. This is so they will look at God and see the love in him. What we do and how we live reflects on God. Yes, we are supposed to speak God’s word, but we are also actively supposed to live out those truths: giving to the poor, helping those in need, offering a heart to someone who is feeling empty, offer a shoulder to cry on, offer hope to someone with no hope or joy.

Ultimately, it is our job as Christians to take on the hurt in the world. Yes, that is a huge responsibility, but we can start off small, just by merely paying more attention to others, being kinder, etc. And then we start to do more and more for the Lord.

My point, people, is this. When people want to act like God is the blame for everything, when they want to act like he is unloving and uncaring- this is all a big fat lie! God is a father, and we are all his children. A father can’t stand when there child is lost or suffering, so as a father, he loves us very, very much, and cares for our needs. The problems is that his people are slacking off, and not doing their job completely. God changes the world through his people, and if his people are too greedy and selfish to care for others, it will look as though God is heartless. We have to be very careful what we do, because like I said, what we do reflects on God, and we really, really don’t want to give others the wrong impression.

We can get rid of the bitterness in some people’s hearts and give them more faith in God if we live the lives we are supposed to live. As the quote goes, we have to be the change we want to see in the world. So be the change! Be the hope! Be the love! There is so much anger and bitterness we can erase.

Valentine’s Day Love

My friend Kayla and I did something very special for valentine’s Day. We bought all different kinds of flowers and a bunch of vases. We had about 41 vases, and decorated each vase with a curly ribbon. Then we put 3 flowers in each vase. We went to a nursing home and handed them out to the people there. There were only about 30 old people, and then workers. So we handed them out to the elderly. It was so incredible, watching their faces light up, and listening to them talk about how pretty the flowers were and how it made them feel happy and special.

The flowers were expensive, and no one told us to do it, we just decided to on our own. We had also made Valentine’s cards- Kayle made about 12 and I made 8 and sent them to people at Hospice. We put things in them like “someone cares, stay strong, Jesus loves you.” We also gave them the rest of the flowers we had left. There were 16 people living in Hospice, so we had plenty. 🙂

We weren’t allowed to go into the rooms to hand them out like we did at the nursing home because of the rules, but the lady at the front desk told us she would certainly hand them out for us. We wanted people to feel special, feel loved, know we care, that Jesus cares. If there were more Christians who could be selfless and love other people like Jesus loves, this world would be a better place. There would be less broken hearts, less pain, more people falling in love with Christ and the freedom and redemption and hope he offers.

A big problem is that there are lots of greedy Christians who are focused on themselves, and only care about what God has to offer them. That prevents God’s love from reaching people, the people who truly need his love most: the down-trodden, the weak, those left behind.

This is a reason Christ is so grounded in humility and so strongly desires to see it in us. It’s because being humble and selfless allows us to stop obsessing about ourselves and all the things we ‘need’ and don’t have, and allows us to take care of people who truly have need. Christ did not say “No, I’m not going to die for anyone, I want to live my life and be happy”; he did not refuse to die for us. He humbly accepted his fate, even though it meant he would suffer. He put someone else above his self.

“When you do things, do not let selfishness or pride be your guide. Instead, be humble and give more honor to others than to yourselves. Do not be interested only in your own life, but be interested in the lives of others.” Philippians 2:3-4

“Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:26-29

Jesus was perfect, deserved everything, and he was not self-centered. He placed other people above himself, event though it caused him pain. That’s because we needed him desperately. We are supposed to be like him, put others before ourselves, because others need us- and Christ through us- desperately.

I don’t want people walking around thinking Christians are hypocrites and liars, and that they try to act good but they are actually heartless. I want them to feel love and compassion and hope, I want them to see how headstrong we are in changing the world. That is who we are meant to be. But we have to be Christlike in the way we live, doing for others before we do for ourselves. That is how the world may know him, through us. This is the truth they were meant to see.

Improving our Weaknesses

Sometimes, I have a horribly hard time opening up to people. I can come across as distantand uncaring, maybe stuck up or heartless. None of these things are true, though. I love people, love spending time with people. I love making friends, I love talking, but I struggle because there has always been this piece of my heart that is outrageously introverted.

I remember in high school, I had friends that I really loved, but I was called quiet, and I would sit in class and do my best, but some piece of me always didn’t care, didn’t want to be there. I often felt isolated and like I didn’t know how to relate to anyone. I was always in my own little world, dreaming big dreams, thinking of what I would do after school, etc. maybe I didn’t trust people.

Anyway, I am partially a loner, I guess, but this is not good for the sake of God’s kingdom. I was in my bible class one day, and my teacher was talking about how God has presented his message of hope to the world in a general way, so even people in different cultures who haven’t had the chance to hear it will go to hell.

The problem isn’t because God is mean and cruel, but because he has placed the burden of responsibility on his own people. If people aren’t changing because of the Gospel, it’s because we aren’t doing our job to the best of our ability, simply put. God has told us to go and make disciples:

“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'” Matthew 28:18-20

So when people aren’t getting saved and changed, it’s because we’re not doing good at all about telling people about Christ. This apathetic world who looks at Christianity as just some random theory is because we have been seriously slacking. So when my teacher reminded me of this, I felt such a sense of urgency to tell the world, spread the message, save a soul, change a mind, and most importantly, change a heart.

I have to get over my introversion to make room for God. Someone took time out of their day to show me how important God was, and I am so thankful for that, because I accepted Christ because of it. The genuine change in my heart, the strength I have found, it is all amazing. So who am I to keep that from somebody else?

I am learning to get over myself and my weakness for the sake of God’s kingdom. Some days I really don’t feel like posting, but I do, because it forces me to face my challenges. I try to talk to people about God try to be friendlier, try to open up more. It’s not easy, but I see drastic improvement from where I used to be.

I am stretching myself for God. A lot of times, Christians don’t realize that they get in the way of their own progress. We have so many weaknesses we need to work on. Some need to stop being greedy, stop putting themselves first, and learn to serve others. Some need to share more, some need to spend more time with God, pray more, etc. (In fact, literally every Christian can still improve in these areas! Because we are never perfect.) There are always things to improve on.

If that wasn’t true, more people would be changed, we would have reached more people by now. But it is okay to have weakness because we have Christ. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to make our weak points stronger. I need to talk more to tell people about Jesus, so little by little, I talk to more and more people to improve. If I needed to pray more, I would make sure I prayed for 1 or a few people each day.

We have to realize our weaknesses if we are ever going to be able to change them.

It’s good to surround ourselves with godly people, who can hold us accountable and keep us on track. We should help to build each other up; set goals and then work hard at them to improve and achieve them. We need each other, we depend on each other:

“Two people are better than one, because they get more done by working together. If one falls down, he other can help him up. But it is bad for the person who is alone and falls, because no one is there to help.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Then we can get out of our own way and God can do what he needs to do. It’s not God not doing his job. God works through us to get his will done. We have to start doing our job. We have to learn where we fall short, so we can improve and be able to do what God wants us to do. Embrace humility, be willing to change. When we get ourselves out of the way, then we may truly change the world!!

*Poetry Corner- “Ego”, greed

Ego

If there’s not time today
There will never be time

How come we’re the richest
Acting like we’re poorest?
Our egos are the biggest
And the sorest

Won’t open up our wallets
Because we are afraid
Having EVERYTHING is not enough
To make a change

How come we’re the richest
Acting like we’re poorest?
Our egos are the biggest
And the sorest

And the acidic greed inside our hearts
Burns away at our souls
Devouring everything it sees, it feeds
Until all that’s left are holes

Some people have what’s very small
Some have nothing at all
Very few are filthy rich like us
Have EVERYTHING and not enough
People suffer
And we wanna see change
But we ourselves are the problem
Standing in the way!

Making the world feel small
We have to have it all
And the bigger we are
The harder we fall
Why is the world
Callous and unfair?
‘Cause we don’t see greed in the mirror
But that doesn’t mean it isn’t there

If times are hard today,
They will never be easy
If there’s no money today
There will never be enough money

Can’t set broken hearts free
Starving and empty
While our endless greed
Only feeds and feeds
Can’t look them in the eyes
And see all their pain
If we keep living only for us
Then there will never be change

How come we’re the richest
Acting like w’re poorest?
Our egos are the biggest
And the sorest

-Jennifer Clayton
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I get so frustrated with countries like America. It’s not just us, but we definitely are super guilty of this. We hit hard times, like when the economy is going crazy and we’re afraid we will lose our jobs and houses and everything. But even at our worse, we are so much better off than other countries. Billions of people around the world live off less than $2 a day. And we are upset? I guarantee those people would take living in our difficult economy any day over living the way they live. At our worse, we are living better than most of the world. Our worse is better than their best.

Perry Noble once said that “only in America can you be obese and poor at the same time.” And he’s so right! People act like they broke, but they still have means of getting the things they need. I recognize that even when times are hard here, it doesn’t change the fact that we are born with silver spoons in our mouths. Perry also was talking about how we have storage houses for our cars. People in other countries could live with their whole family in one of our car garages. We have houses and then houses for our cars.

Only in America will we complain about how hard times are getting, and then you still see all these commercials about getting your dogs the best food and grooming them and treating them like they are just like people. It’s like, “yeah, these are hard times, but we still somehow have money for this stuff” It’s ridiculous! We’re struggling but we can take care of ourselves and our pets… when people in others places don’t have anything to feed their families, and they wouldn’t even think about pets!

We get so blinded by how much stuff we have. The poem is saying that we have big and sore egos. They are big because we constantly want more and more stuff, and sore because we sit and complain about everything we don’t have, even though we have everything. “If there’s no money today, there will never be enough money” means that if we have so much stuff, but still can’t find it in our hearts to give, because we feel that we don’t have enough, then we will never find it in our hearts to give.

There won’t be enough for everyone if we only want more. There will only ever be enough for everyone if we realize that we do have everything, and others desperately need our help and our generosity, so that they can survive, too.

This is why we need humility. Why Christ calls us to be humble and to give to the poor.

“But God gives us even more grace, as the Scripture says, ‘God is against the proud, but he gives grace to the humble.'” James 4:6

“Jesus answered, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’” Matthew 19:21

Humility and serving others gets rid of our blindness, pushes away our greed. And this is what we need. Loving people like this by giving and serving shows the world that Christ is real, because acts such as these truly show how he loves. When we are greedy, nobody can see Christ in us. People think we are liars and fake. Don’t put on an act. Get out there and do your job, show genuine love, and I guarantee people will change, and ultimately the world will change.

Paradox: Become Greater By Becoming Less

We, as human beings, want to be treated like we are the greatest people ever. In our own sinful, selfish nature, we naturally want to put ourselves before others, be taken care of first, put everyone else second. We say “my life is about ME, ME, ME.” In our walk with Christ, our own evil heart wants to be the center of attention, we want to make decisions for OUR lives, we don’t want Jesus to make them for us. WE want to lead. WE always have the answers.

But that’s an interesting paradox when it comes to living for Jesus:

“Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 10:26-28

We must put ourselves last to become first. To Christ, humility shows much greater strength and deserves much more honor than pride does. A proud man in God’s sight is a wicked man, he is about himself, not concerned with the wellbeing of others, so long as he gets what he desires.

“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.” Philippians 2:3-11

So essentially, because Christ, who in his nature is God, decided to humble himself and be a servant and serve others, rather than trying to be equal with God the Father, God made him the greatest person, ruling over all the others. Because of his complete humility and obedience and willingness to be beneath others, God honored him and gave him glory and gave him everything.

Strange paradox, but true. When we fight the desire in our heart to be first, and instead truly desire to serve others, help them when they are in need, show them how to live upright lives for God, and take care of their needs before we worry about our own, God will take care of us. When we make ourselves like nothing, we will bring him glory and he will honor us, and we will be the most blessed.

It’s because God admires humility so much. When we put others first, he puts us first. He loves humility because when we are humble, he really gets to be in charge of our lives, and we help others more, love others more, are more compassionate, caring, and we can change the world with such love. Humility means we stop being arrogant and recognize that others have needs, too. We serve others, and these other people we serve are God’s children, and he sees how we help them. To become great in God’s sight, we have to become less. We have to be second, instead of being first.

“Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.” Proverbs 18:12

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Proverbs 11:2

“In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’” 1 Peter 5:5

Jesus was abused, cursed at, spit on, died on a cross for us. He was obedient to his father to the point of death. He could have called angels to kill all the people who hurt him, who caused him nothing but pain and misery. He is God! But he did not. He loved them, he still prayed for them, still died for them. Humility. Serving others. Obedient. And God sees his son denying himself for the sake of others, and now Jesus is the greatest one ever, and it is impossible to get to heaven with out him. He is the greatest one in our lives, the most important, most significant.

When you want a position like that, and you aim for that, being proud and depending on yourself and being all about yourself, trying to exalt yourself, God makes you last and the least among men, and you will never achieve such greatness.

A lot of people don’t understand the paradox. When others are trying to make their names great, they get caught up in sin and really aren’t great. When I am trying to make Jesus’s name great, and I am serving others for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven, he sees that, and I will achieve more than the selfish person.

Embrace the paradox. Or face the frustration of constantly trying to succeed and only finding failure. Make Jesus’s name greater. When it comes to yourself, become less.