No Safer Place
Psalm 25:1-11 (NRSV)-
1 To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. 2 O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame; do not let my enemies exult over me. 3 Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame; let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
4 Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. 5 Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.
6 Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. 7 Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness’ sake, O Lord!
8 Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. 9 He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. 10 All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
11 For your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great.
Have you ever tried to talk to someone who would not listen? How about teaching someone who refused to learn? Or, correct someone who preferred their way, no matter the cost?
If you are like me, maybe you have been the one who was unwilling to listen, learn, or make a change. Either way, the effect on the relationship was probably the same. It either stagnated or ended because where there is no humility. And, without humility, there cannot be intimacy.
Refusing to receive instruction or hear someone out is one of the most basic forms of pride. We have all experienced it because we are all human. We were born into sin, which means humility does not come naturally to any of us.
David, who wrote Psalm 25, had every reason to be full of himself. His lineage, knowledge, and position were all to be esteemed. So, how is it that David stayed so humble?
David was not perfect, but he was pursuing God. He was trying his best to seek God’s will and ask for forgiveness when he failed. And, as David turned to God, he experienced more and more of his faithfulness and unfailing love. So, as David’s understanding of God’s greatness increased, David’s view of himself decreased.
Decreasing our view of ourselves is the goal for every follower of Jesus. And, like David, as our view of ourselves decreases, our view of God’s greatness increases. As such, every time we listen to God’s voice, follow his instruction, and accept his correction, we fight our natural bent toward pride and deepen our relationship with God.
Today, although humility and decreasing our view of ourselves may be uncomfortable, let’s remember that there is no safer place that we can be.
Heavenly Father God, please decrease our view and reliance upon ourselves. In doing so, please teach us to carry ourselves with humility. And, although humility is uncomfortable, please guide us to see the magnitude of your power and presence. In doing so, please teach us to listen to your voice, follow your instruction, and accept your correction. In the humble name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen!