Weekly Thought – November 24, 2020
Fred dedicated his life to learning – and encouraging others to grow. Before it was a popular phrase, Fred exemplified the “lifelong learner.” He believed part of the answer of God’s purpose for our lives is identifying where we hunger for deeper understanding.
Evidences of an Educated Heart
One evidence of an educated heart is the realization of self-worth. I like to hear a Christian say, “I feel good about myself.” Understanding the difference between self-worth and self-esteem is critical. We can appreciate who we are because we are given gifts by God.
A friend of mine who is a professor at a Catholic university told me “true dignity happens when genuine pride and genuine humility unite.” We in the evangelical community think of pride and humility as being antonyms when actually they are two sides of the same coin. Don’t you feel you can be justly proud of being a child of God – a member of the family.
A wealthy business friend in Boston with his wife invited a young girl living on the streets to move in with them for a year. Each night after dinner he would repeat the catechism he developed for her. “Why does God love you?” She would answer “Not because I am good but because I am precious.” Then he asked, “Why are you precious?” “Because Christ died for me” was the response. I told that story to an audience in East Texas. Afterwards a small woman in her 80s came up and said, “Thank you. All my life I wanted to be precious and now I know I am.”
You unite that pride with genuine humility and you have a truly educated heart. I like to define humility as “not denying the power you have but admitting it comes through you and not from you.” Denying the gift is lying; attributing it to God is truth telling. Some people think they are showing humility by bad-mouthing themselves. That is disrespecting God. In this we dignify what God has given.
Another evidence of an educated heart is a homing sense. That is, a sense for home. Just as the homing pigeon never loses their direction the educated heart never loses the sense of the Father’s house and our spiritual home. It is too easy to get lost chasing the dollar, or fame, or even service. Christians will be brought back through the homing instinct built into us by the Spirit.
I once met a CEO who talked about climbing the corporate ladder and putting his faith aside as not applicable to his business life. As he made decisions he started to see a relationship between the good decisions and the “old time religious principles” he learned growing up. He told me he finally made the decision to “come home” and realign himself with his faith.
An educated heart understands that he or she may have tremendous success, piloting bigger and bigger ships in larger and larger waters. But the largest vessel still bows to the instruction of the lighthouse. Never neglect the lighthouse in your harbor which marks your way home.
This week carefully consider: 1) How clear am I on my God-given gifts? 2) What reminds me that I am precious to God? 3) How strong is my homing instinct?
Words of Wisdom: “Humility is not denying the power you have, but admitting it comes through you and not from you.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Do not let mercy and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” (Proverbs 3:3 NET Bible)