Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you…(1 Chronicles 28:20)
Yesterday, while out on the basketball court I made the wrong call and I knew it. It’s one of the hardest calls to make in basketball, in my opinion, and a lot of people don’t understand the ruling so the coach didn’t have anything to say about it. The thing is, I knew it was wrong.
Something that’s important to me as an official is that the players can learn from their mistakes. Whenever our whistle blows it offers the coach a chance to teach their players about the game, but when you make the wrong call and no one bats an eye, they’re not going to learn the proper ruling and grow in their game.
I made up my mind that I was going to ask the coach to meet me briefly after the game so I could talk with him, but as I was about to get the words out, something stopped me, it was pride. This voice in my head that said, “Don’t do that! You’re going to look incompetent. How will you ever move up as an official? Just keep your mouth shut. That way you won’t have to look so stupid.”
Knowing this was pride, the second time I came around the coach I asked him to meet me after the game. I knew that humility is something God honors. Although I had to look foolish for a moment, I knew that it was for a greater purpose, something bigger than myself.
Solomon sets out to build a house for God. David, his father, encourages him to not give up, but to keep building and persevere in strength. In order for Solomon to finish the task of building the temple, it would require a tremendous amount of hard work, perseverance, and courage.
Now, the temple of God lives inside of God’s people. We are God’s temple; His building. There’s a greater purpose God is trying to accomplish and it’s so much bigger than just the individual. In order for us to grow up in Christ, we must walk in humility with one another. We must seek unity. We must understand that we’re going to mess up, and that’s ok. We’re going to get it wrong sometimes, but there’s grace for us. The task of God’s people growing up together will require a lot of hard work, courage, and perseverance.
Would we be willing to die to our own pride for the sake of the body of Christ? To thoughts like, “I could have given a better sermon than that,” “I can sing better than her,” “That’s not how I would have done that,” “I should be the one leading that,” “this church is just full of a bunch of hypocrites,” or “those Christians are idiots because they’re ____________ .”
It’s not about you. I need this reminder daily, to die to my pride and offer myself as a living sacrifice to the body of Christ, so that we may all grow up in unity together. Why is unity so hard? Because we care too much about ourselves and our status and appearance before others. Our pride throws a wedge in the building process because our arrogance starts to shut down the work that we are responsible for. Our part in the growing process stalls because we don’t practice humility before and with others.
I’m not saying I always do this right, trust me, I don’t. Yet, I am learning in life that the thing God honors most is a humble person, willing to admit their mistakes. I’m learning that people are actually drawn to that. In fact, the coach had a great response to our conversation. A lot of the time the stuff we fear will never actually happen. It’s just something the enemy tries to convince us will. He’s crafty like that, but don’t give up on unity. It’s what God people need as we grow up in Him.
Lord, I want to be a humble person. Forgive me when pride wins out in my heart and I take the bait of temptation and fall into sin. Show me where I lack unity in the church. Grow my heart towards grace, love and forgiveness instead, I pray, in Jesus name.