Oct 5, 2010

Humble Acceptance vs. Pious Proclamation

One of the things I strive to do is watch how great leaders react in different situations. One thing I have noticed is that when they are recognized for God's working through their lives, they graciously accept it. They respond with a simple "Thank you" or "It was my pleasure" or "Thanks for your kindness" or "You are very kind." It's what I call humble acceptance. They know that it was God working through them and they would never try to take the glory for what God did.

But they also have the wisdom to know that pointing up to heaven and saying something like, "It's all because of Jesus" or "God did it...not me" or "It is for His glory" though it seems spiritual, can come across as a pious proclamation of your "spirituality."

I've seen this played out so many times over the years. Example: At one church I served at, two men had dug a ditch for a plumbing need at the church.

On Sunday, the Pastor asked them to stand and publicly thanked them for their time and love for the church. Instead of saying "thank you," one of the men responded to the entire congregation in a pious voice and said, "We did it for Jesus." But what he thought would make a spiritual moment had the opposite effect. The answer sounded so cliche and fake. Now I don't know his heart, but that's the way it came across.

Once again, I have watched great Christian leaders. When they are acknowledged or receive a reward, they simply receive it in humility and say thanks. When that happens,they come across as genuine instead of pious. God receives the glory through their humble acceptance.

Bottom line. Don't try to be super spiritual when you are acknowledged for God working through your life to build His kingdom. A simple "thank you" reflects humble acceptance instead of a pious proclamation of your spirituality.

Posted by Dale Hudson


This is so true. Many times people demonstrate their pride through their humbleness. Yes, that sounds like an oxymoron. However, it is true. People use "humbleness" to show how great they are.

One problem with this is that now even when people are genuinely humble, it may be misconstrued as a fake humbleness.

In the society that we now live, many times kids are taught to uplift themselves. And, yes, we should feel good about ourselves. But, kids, today, many times are thought to bury anything bad about themselves and only focus on the good.

As they grow into adults, this will lead them to that "fake humbleness" of "I am a perfect Christian". One of our jobs in kids ministry is to teach them to examine themselves for ways they can improve, while still keeping a good view of their good points, as well.

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