The Lord has been challenging me on my pride over the last few months, and now I come to a new lesson: Am I willing to to sit at the feet of someone I consider to be less advanced and learn lessons that don’t seem worth learning? Only because His love has brought me to this place, and I trust His grace to help me work through the lessons.
I have been reading a commentary on the Psalms. I have found it frustrating because the author, though analytically thorough seems to have missed the dynamic of a relationship with God. As I was venting my frustrations to my wife, I realised that something was wrong. My attitude was that of someone who can only learn the lessons they have already learned – but deeper. I was being arrogant in my attitude to the Scriptures and putting my interpretation as the touchstone. If the writer did not come through the doorway of my understanding, then I could not listen to him.
When I came to Psalm 119:21 (NIV), “You rebuke the arrogant who are cursed and who stray from your commands. “ I realised that I am the one who is rebuked and cursed for being arrogant. My arrogance and conceit blind me from whole aspects of God and His Word. It is as if we have been set to excavate a site. I am digging in one area, and have found some real gems. In my success I presume that this is the only area where real gems can be found. When someone digs in another area, and uses a different digging technique, I judge the pebbles they are so proud of as inadequate and assume I have nothing to learn.
I cringe as I realise that I have become like so many others I have heard, who are stuck on one subject and cannot seem to open their eyes to see more of God, and more of life in a text than what they have been first taught.
The problem for me is that it is harder work to get out of my comfort zone, the place where I am consistently finding nuggets, go over to the other part of the site and learn to dig in an unfamiliar way. It is not productive. My attention is drawn back to the area of excavation that I know and love. I must fight my attitude of despising as shallow the pitiful pebbles that come through this new technique.
So to the question: Am I prepared to let the Lord teach me? Will I allow Him to teach me using whomever He chooses? When I understand the Lord is in these lessons I approach with a new attitude. Instead of going through the motions, I must seriously process it. What can be made of looking at this wisdom literature from this different angle? What happens when I give of my heart to understanding this new information and giving the Lord space to process it with me. I must trust God that through it, He will transform these pitiful pebbles into a different, and maybe more brilliant form of Gem.