I had an old saying once: “There was a man who sought after truth, but when he found it, he turned and walked away.” That is what happens when someone seeks advice and finds out that the path that they are traveling on is easier than the path they were advised to take. God’s Word is our source for truth, but how many of us turn and walk away from this truth. Paul writes these words in I Corinthians 13:11-13: “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now, we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. Growing in the grace of God is a slow process in most believers. I Corinthians chapter thirteen was Paul’s discourse on a better way of walking in God’s way than the way of the gifts he had describes in chapter twelve. Chapter twelve is called the gift chapter in which Paul describes the different gifts that believers are given form God. However he ends chapter twelves with these words: “But eagerly desire the greater gift. And now I will show you the most excellent way. Gifts are great, but using them in a way that cause growth in us and others is the most excellent way.
Psalm 131 is a very short psalm but speaks volumes that can ease the mind of a believer. “My heart is not proud, O LORD, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. ” The beauty of God’s Word is how the truth found in each verse can touch the heart of those who are not proud, who have quieted themselves so that the Spirit of God can renew that individual relationship between them and God.
How often did I try to put myself or others on a pedestal only to see how easy it was to fall off that pedestal? How often did I seem to have all the answers and then realize that the path I had charted was taking me in the wrong direction? How often do I let my thought become express words without going through the filtering system that I had developed during my experiences on this earth? Yet the opening verse of this Psalm gave me the advice that I needed to avoid all these issues. The definition of pride as found in the dictionary is: a high or inordinate opinion of one’s own dignity, importance, merit, or superiority, whether as cherished in the mind or as displayed in bearing, conduct, etc. Synonyms for being proud include: pride, conceit, self-esteem, egotism, and vanity can imply an elevated idea of the way we appear to others. The advantages, achievements, as well as the position that I had attained in this life, often lead me to develop characteristics that creates an environment in which self-admiration took over in our life. I recall one of my favorites saying in the days of my youth as “when you are good you are good, but when you are great you are like me!”. However, age can sometimes have a way of adjusting our attitudes, and where pride exist a fall is close behind.
Later than sooner I arrived at the place in my life after the fall from pride, that I realized that there are matters that I could not handle and things that are now greater than my abilities to comprehend and explain. It is during these time that I could either return to the folly of starting over and doing things my way again, or finally waiting on God to make things happen. This was my first learning experience in management. I realize that I could give advice all day to most people, but in the end, they would still follow the path that they were traveling. However, it not what I said, but what I did that influence the employees around me. In my early career in management I learned that you lead by example. Yes, not all will follow your example, but for those who do it leads to great results in both yours and their lives.
An old walking stick found on the beach in Gulf Shores.