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Spiritual Training Cycle: Perspective (wk. 11/13)

Football season is in full swing here at our house. From the NCAA to the NFL, if there’s a pigskin involved, it’s probably on a screen in some room somewhere. It’s also in full swing for our middle son, Jack. Jack is starting his second year of football and really enjoying it. At least he was until an old back injury flared up. It’s hard to watch your kids hurt. Fortunately, I have a good friend who’s a chiropractor and was able to get Jack in for an evaluation. After going through all the tests to rule out any neurological issues, he turned his attention to the muscles and tissues. With his assessment complete, the doctor casually remarked, “Most of the students I see for back pain have bad posture.”

The dreaded “p” word. Who can’t recall their mom shoving a hand in the low back declaring the phrase, “sit up straight.” Certainly, Jack can. Because his mom is all about it. In fact, right after the doctor dropped the “p” word, he looked at me and we both smiled. It was like a grin when you know you’re busted. The doctor was right. Slouching and slumping are hallmark signs of being a teenage boy, and Jack is no exception. But he knew those days needed to be numbered. If he was going to get back in the game, he had to change his posture.

Posture plays a huge role in performance. In the gym we call it position. It’s not uncommon to hear coaches using terms like stacked, braced, power, or organized. They are all describing an athlete with good position. When new athletes start, the first thing we look at is their position. Even in the warmup a good coach can spot faulty position. The coaching cue for correcting position is easy. Change your posture. Good posture equals good position.

What about our spiritual posture? How should we come before God? Scripture says we are to humble ourselves before the Lord and He will exalt us (James 4:10). It starts with humility. Humility is meekness, lowliness, and absence of self. It is an inward heart attitude that expresses itself outwardly in how we treat others and view ourselves. Humility is how we approach God. When we recognize that our selfishness and self-centered ways can’t be resolved on our own, we begin the journey of humility. As we become devoted to Jesus, His death and resurrection provides a full restoration to God, something we could never do ourselves. Humility is an essential discipline in living a godly life. It is freedom from pride. Without humility, you may consider yourself a follower of Jesus, but your life won’t reflect it.

Humility is not just a discipline, it’s also a posture.

Humility is not just a discipline, it's also a posture.

Micah 6:8 says we’re to walk humbly with God. Walking humbly is not taking a stroll around the neighborhood with hunched shoulders and a head hung low. In fact, confidence and humility are not at odds with one another. We can live our lives with great humility by being confident that God is in control and we are not. The posture of humility is where we are most receptive to God and least focused on ourselves. Walking humbly means that who we are as human beings is built on the foundation of selflessness, not selfishness. Our posture of humility should be easy to see by those around us. It’s not about what we bring to God. It’s about how we show up to allow God to move in our life and reorder it. Humility is evidence of our spiritual fitness.

Questions for Reflection:

What does it mean to humble yourself before the Lord?

If humility is evidence of our spiritual fitness, what can we do to develop it?

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