Why the High Price of Humility is Worth What You Pay

Horeshat Tal reminds us of unity's essential ingredient.

Living together in harmony make life great. But dealing with disharmony is like draining the marrow from your bones. King David knew both extremes. He offers wisdom from the voice of experience.

Horeshat Tal—A Reminder of Unity's Essential Ingredient

(Photo: Horeshat Tal National Park. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Many places in Israel today adapt their modern names from biblical names or references. Horeshat Tal National Park takes its name from David’s words in Psalm 133. Horeshat Tal means “The Dew Grove,” a name derived from verse 3:

It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore. —Psalm 133:3

Sitting in the shadow of Mount Hermon, this extensive park with its lush surroundings includes beautiful lawns, rolling streams, stone bridges, and a large swimming pool and water slide.

But the best parts of the park are the beautiful groves of centuries-old Tabor oak trees.

  • At one time, these oaks grew in abundance on the hills of the Galilee.
  • These trees are all that remain—saved partly due to a local legend that claims whoever harms a tree will endure suffering.

The superstition reminds us of a principle of unity that Psalm 133 speaks as truth—not legend.

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The Surprising Secret to Greatness We Need to Discover

What the original team of rivals can teach us about true greatness.

My recent run-in with an opportunistic driver has me thinking about other opportunists in our lives. Including the one who smiles when someone points a camera our direction.

The Surprising Secret to Greatness We Need to Discover

(Photo courtesy of Unsplash)

God never promised us the Christian life would shield us from the temptation of popularity, greatness, or admiration. In fact, we often toy with the desire to get what we want out of life just like the world does.

Jesus once told His followers that greatness is a fine goal to pursue. In fact, He applauded it.

As long as you understand what true greatness is.

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Why Self-Promotion Isn’t Always Bad

One question hits the reset button on our motives

Okay, I need to be honest. I’m glad my book launch for Waiting on God is over. Self-promotion can make me really uncomfortable. But not for the reasons you think.

Why Self-Promotion Isn’t Always Bad

(Photo by Photodune)

It’s not that self-promotion is wrong, per se. It doesn’t have to contradict humility. (I’ll share why in a minute.) Rather, all that self-promotion made me at times concerned (this is tough to admit) that I might appear anti-humble. Which, in effect, is the same as being anti-humble.

Maybe you’ve been there. By being concerned with how we are perceived, we waver between the high road of humility and the swamp of pride. It’s really tough to move forward in the Christian life when ego is stuck to your shoes like a glob of gum.

Know what I mean?

But just because our motives are often mixed (even on our best days), that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t self-promote at times.

Here’s why that’s true. And here’s one question that helps us hit reset on our motives.

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How to Sidestep Your Daily Ego

Don’t you just love it when God drags His rake across the soil of your heart and unearths all kinds of junk below the surface? Well it happened to me recently. Just like it happened last year.

Michael W. Smith at NRB 2014

(Photo: Michael W. Smith at the National Religious Broadcasters 2014)

I just returned from the National Religious Broadcasters annual convention in Nashville. This conference is a yearly microcosm of the most gifted communicators, broadcasters, and creatives in the kingdom of God.

Some of the rest of us showed up too.

I’m going to be honest and a bit vulnerable in this post and share how I blew it last year and how this year started off headed the same direction.

Last year I was caught flatfooted. But this year I approached it differently.

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How a Bag of Dog Food Exposed My Pride

Years ago I walked into a pet store with one of my daughters to buy dog food. The guy at the cash register saw us walk in, and immediately his face lit up: “Are you Wayne Stiles?” Completely surprised, I answered: “Yes.”

How a Bag of Dog Food Exposed My Pride

(Photo by Photodune)

I confess my mind immediately chased the reasons he might know who I was:

  • Maybe he heard me speak before.
  • Maybe he’s read something I’ve written.
  • Maybe he attends our church.
  • Maybe . . .

All this shot through my mind in an instant. Yet after I answered, “Yes,” he revealed how he new my name.

“You need to call home; your wife just called.”

It turns out, he recognized me because Cathy told him I’d have a five-year-old daughter with me! It had nothing to do with anything I said, wrote, or did.

You know what bothered me most about this event?

I innocently come to buy dog food . . . and God takes the opportunity to expose my pride.

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5 Good Lessons from a Bad Example

Sometimes the best lessons come from the worst examples. Maybe you had a parent who disciplined out of anger. Or a pastor who wielded his Bible like a billy club. Or a boss who abused his or her authority.

5 Good Lessons from a Bad Example

(Photo by Photodune)

It’s easy to dismiss lousy leaders as incompetent, arrogant, or uncaring—and unworthy of our attention. But it’s hard to examine their flaws and failures so as to apply their bad example to our own lives.

The Bible often makes good use of a bad example. Scripture records the failings of many—not like some grocery tabloid would—but to show us why we should make good choices (1 Cor. 10:6).

The Apostle John took up his pen and wrote for us 5 good lessons from a bad example.

Thankfully, these are 5 lessons we don’t have to learn the hard way.

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