This blog is about two friends, miles apart, striving to pattern our lives after the Proverbs 31 woman. Here you will find our daily journeys, whether serious, funny, practical, or inventive. Thanks for stopping by and we hope you'll stop by often!

~Lauren & Page

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Breaking the Hard and Haughty Heart

Philippians 2:1-11

" 1If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,

2Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

3Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

4Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

I heard a story this last week that really touched my heart--and reminded me of the importance of having a humble, Christ-like attitude in my every day life.

A dear friend and missionary to Africa, Yohannes Gatenah (John for short), is an amazing man. If you ever have the privilege of meeting and speaking with him, your life would only be richer for it. His ministry is to the deaf people of Zambia. God has blessed his ministry in huge and awesome ways. As I could talk on and on about John--I'll try to keep it to just this one story, but he has so many amazing and wonderful stories of the miracles, mercies, and love of God that I could fill this blog up!! : )

Part of the ministry John has is a deaf school for children. The deaf in Zambia are actually considered lower life forms than dogs in Africa. Many children come to this school--unloved and unwanted--not even having a name, because their parents did not deem them worthy or acceptable as a living being. The stories of most of these children would leave us shocked, appalled, and deeply heart broken. Just the thought of some of the things I know of some brings me to tears instantaneously.

One child John talked about the other night was a very young deaf boy, in the neighborhood of 5-7 years of age. One day--he had an accident in his clothes. The teacher, whose heart was had lapsed into hardness over the situation, decided to teach the boy a lesson by stripping him of all of his clothing and making him stand outside in the cold for all to see. Her goal was to shame him--hoping this would cure him of ever making the same mistake of having an accident.

Take a moment (before I tell you what happened to the boy), if you will, to examine this situation from all sides. It's easy to think that this teacher was just malicious and calloused... But the point of the story is not to judge the boy's teacher--but to examine ourselves, our hearts, our motives... We may not strip a child and shame him in front of countless others, but what has my hardened, sinful heart caused me to do? Did we lose heart and grow irritation over an "annoying kid at church"? Did we try to avoid him/her because "we just can't stand them"? Did we look down our nose at a struggling believer? Did we offend? Did we forgive? I hope you see what I'm saying... Hard and haughty hearts ruin our relationship with Christ, and in turn--our relationship with other believers... Remember the above verses:

2Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

3Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

4Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

These verses and countless others call us to be humble--to be a servant--to let go of self-love and pride and render our lives to Christ--to care for others, and see them as the wonderful gifts from God that they are. EVERYONE.

Now, back to the boy... Can you imagine what it was like, standing there--with accident still on you--cold and naked--friends and peers staring? His little heart was broken. John was in his office, and looked out his window and saw the boy. He immediately went to see what was going on. The teacher told him about the accident and how she was teaching him a lesson. John's heart was broken. This godly man handled the situation, with all of the love and humility of Christ. He did speak with the teacher--to remind her that although she truly had no obligation to clean the boy--her commitment to God and her need for Christ-likeness and servanthood was much greater.

John took the boy, cleaned him and gave him clean clothes to wear. The love this child felt--that welled up inside his little soul--was great. His heart was knit to John. This child experienced true, Christ-like love and servanthood, and it had deeply rooted in him and impacted him greatly.

Sadly, just a few, short months later, the boy was hit by a car and killed. John's heart broke again, right before us, as he relayed this to us. But that was not the end of this little boy's story!

When the boy had went home, the day he had his accident on his clothes, he told his father about John and what John had done for him. When they had the boy's funeral--the father talked with John, about how the boy felt for him, and about how he (the father) felt for John as well because of his kind, loving actions toward his son. As a result, the father began attending John's church--and was SAVED.

Do you see? John, humbling himself, cleaning a mess that he did not have to clean--helping a child that he could have left to learn a harsh lesson--representing the very core of Christ in His ways--was a major part in bringing a lost father to the Lord.

What if John hadn't? What if he just didn't want to deal with "an accident" that day? What happens when we don't?

Please remember. Our actions, whether Christ-like or not, impact and impress upon others. And, as believers in Christ, we are to be Christ-like. Whether it's the man on the curb, the driver in the car in front of us, the child on the bus who hasn't showered in a week, "that kid" at church, that person who offended me... EVERYONE. We are to do as the verses above say...


1 comment:

  1. Hello,

    I have visited your blog and enjoyed it very much. It has a great inspiration.

    Would you like to visit my weblog which I created about 3 months ago?

    My husband and I are Iranian and live in the UK. We love Jesus and our weblog is mostly about our Lord. Since we are Iranian we have added some Persian topics to the weblog, but you can read and watch English ones.

    My weblog is http://creation-to-eternity.blogspot.com

    God Bless,