The Pilgrim Inn

A group of friends, a brewed beverage & a reflection on the day's journey.

Tag: humility

Real Change Takes Time

We are perhaps never more aware of our pace through life, as we are at the year’s end. It is a time when I realize how full the year has been; how many things have happened in such a seemingly short time. Life seems to become more and more compressed and time itself seems to bend as the months slide by, like a sleigh ride down a hill that gets steeper and steeper. And yet despite all the speed and the clutter of happenings, one of the frustrating facts that seems to hit me every year is ME. Although the scenery around me is in constant flux, I find over and over that I am still very much the same weak me that I was before.

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Solid Ground in Stormy Times

One of the inevitable aspects of living in a Genesis 3 world is the fact that life is full of challenges, trouble, trials and conflict. The impact of sin has been such that it has infected every single aspect of life in such a way that we simultaneously love it and suffer from it every day. Life is indeed a battle.

Unless we allow the Word of God shape our thinking and approach the toughest parts of life, we will have a very hard time growing and deepening in any long lasting sense. Here are three central biblical truths that can help us stand firm and come out victorious in our day to day battles. Continue reading

Learning Humble Balance

One of the things that I am learning as I grow is the fact that life is not as black and white as I had expected. The “either/or” mentality is one of the most classic defining features of young people. We always thing that things are always one way or another. In reality however, I am finding that life so full of much more grey than I had expected.

To many people this is an excuse to live however they want. They think that, because the answers of life are not always so clear cut, there must BE no answer. Just because all the different arguments and perspectives seem to make sense, then they all must be equally valid from their own unique angles. To these people, the grey areas of life are an excuse to put their desires and opinions forward.

Some people jump on the extreme of embracing the grey areas and enjoying the freedom that seems to come with them, while others resort to sticking to their opinions as black and white, clear-cut answers that can never be challenged. Part of growing up is bouncing back and forth between those areas.

It has been encouraging and exciting for me to start learn a sense of balance between the extremes. Learning to hold my tongue and to think for a little longer. Learning to speak what I think and not let others opinions crush and liquify my own convictions. Its so challenging, yet so rewarding, to start to grow in a mindset that is humble, convinced, open-minded, excited by new thoughts and conversations, yet willing to gently challenge them and eagerly think them through.

By nature I am one who tends to just speak out my thoughts as if they were the last and most conclusive perspective on anything. What this means for me is learning to understand the fact that the world will not come crashing down if I keep my thoughts to myself for a little longer. This is why I have noticed that balance is largely an issue of humility. It is the kind of humility that is driven by the conviction that I need instruction, the conviction that I will make a mess of things if I am left to marinate in my opinions.

The timeless observations of the book of Proverbs rings truer than ever when thinking about this –

“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,
but only in expressing his opinion.” (18:2)

“A fool gives full vent to his spirit,
but a wise man quietly holds it back.” (29:11)

“Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.” (9:9)

On the flip side, humility won’t let us get to pessimistic and stop responding to everything around us. It won’t let us embrace the grey areas and excuse our lack of integrity and discernment. Humility reminds one that he needs instruction, that he needs guidance and direction. Humility causes us to see the sacred nature of life and of our accountability to the One who is the giver of that life. This is precisely what drives the wise person of Proverbs. And although he does not know everything, he is “bold as a lion” (28:1) about the things he does know.

Humble balance is rooted in a pressing awareness of the littleness of humankind and the greatness of God, which prevents us from being overly confident, while constantly keeping us seeking and answering rather than becoming passive and apathetic.

An Ugly Need For Beautiful Grace

God has an interesting way of teaching me about my need in him. Last week I went to an AA meeting for an assignment from school, and realized that I too, am an addict. I am addicted to doing and thinking all the terrible things that I know are wrong and ugly. Although on the outside I might look so good and strong – I am fully aware of the reality of the many selfish and prideful things that daily pass through my mind.

Sometimes our challenging circumstances humble us not through the pressure of the situation itself, but through the illuminating experience of seeing our own self centered reaction. We are crushed by the fact that our problem of pride and selfishness runs much much deeper in our hearts that we had ever imagined. 

It is then that we realize our desperate need of God’s grace on our foolishly independent hearts. Even the reason that we are unhappy about our pride is often a prideful one – we think we are capable of better. We are helplessly confident in the foundation of our own hearts, minds, abilities – even though we might know that there is no solid reason to do so except that fact that we want so desperately to prove our independence.

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