But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble - James 4:6 NIV
I work in a commissioned sales environment. That means that I don't earn income until a transaction closes. It also means that I have variable income. There are times where I will string together several months of above average production. There are also times that I will experience months where sales are average at best. My wife works in the same field, but her compensation is salaried in addition to overtime. She works extremely hard and has, at times, carried the family from an income perspective. It took a period of time for me to swallow my pride and admit this fact. There were times where I did not want to reconcile myself to the realization that I needed her help as a I built my clientele in a commissioned environment. This flew in the face of what I thought a man should be. A real man does not have to ask for help. As a man, I "got" this! Doesn't Hollywood glamorize the image of the self made man? We respect the man that has picked himself up by his bootstraps and did it his way. To ask for help was a sign of weakness. We were taught to stay away from the man that exposed his vulnerable side. It a man admitted that he needed help, we tried to avoid him at all costs. He was branded as a weakling and dismissed as a poor excuse of a man. I have seen in my own family where one of the spouses get sick and the other spouse has to step and perform some of the duties that the former used to do without a second thought. The love that I saw exhibited between the two as one spouse shouldered the loan would sometimes bring me to tears when I reflected back on it. I have a friend that I hadn't spoken to in quite some time and I reconnected with him recently. I found out that he will need back surgery and had been off of work for a month. As a matter of fact as I was talking to him, he informed me that his wife was driving him to pick up books for him to read while waiting for his surgery. The inflection in his voice let me know that he had accepted his wife's help with a grateful and humble heart. This was not surprising since this brother is well grounded in his faith and knows about God's grace. Men, asking for and receiving help is not a sign of weakness. In fact, I would argue that a man that humbles himself and admits his shortcomings possesses an enormous reservoir of strength. There are far too many men suffering in silence from items such as alcoholism, addiction to controlled substances or pornography because they want swallow their pride and reach out for help.
How many of us are willing to forego out prideful attitude and humble ourselves to not only ask for help, but be willing to receive it? In today's scripture, James talks about how proud men resist God and his laws and precepts. James goes on to say that the proud will even resist God's grace because they are independent in their thinking. Contrast this to how God views the humble. He gives those individuals even more grace because in their humble state, they realized that they need help. They cannot do it alone because the things of this world are far to difficult to overcome by themselves. The humble will make in a point to seek help, especially when it comes to their faith walk, in an effort to improve their ability to worship Christ. Admitting that you don't have all the answers and be willing to humble yourself is the first step to changing your life for the better. Are you willing to take that first step?
ACTION PLAN: Take that first step to swallow your pride and humble yourself. Pray before God and ask Him for help in overcoming whatever it is that's a barrier that is keeping you from worshipping Him.
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Ken Sadler is a leader of Men's Ministry at a megachurch and has a heart and passion for helping men become the best they can be.