Walking The Tightropes of Life – Balancing Things Like Humility and Pride

There are times in life when it seems like we are walking on a tightrope.  Tightrope walkers typically hold a long pole in the middle that they use to stay balanced.  If they start leaning one way, they move their arms and the pole until they regain their balance.

Imagine for a second that you are a tightrope walker.  As you walk across the rope, someone grabs on to one of the ends of the pole you are carrying.  Obviously, this will mess you up.  You will quickly need to find someone of similar size and weight to grab onto the other end of the pole.  (Or you would need to drop the pole – I suppose).

Throughout life, we are faced with similar decisions.  If we don’t make the right decision, our life will get out of balance.  For example, as parents if we love our kids yet we never tell them the truth, we are doing our children a disservice.  Many parents are in this boat today as they seek to become their kids best friends.  On the other hand, if we only have truth in our relationships with our kids yet never show them love, we are missing out on a huge opportunity to build up our children.  Kids who have been parented this way probably feel like they are being yelled at all the time.  There needs to be a balance of truth and love.

Can you think of other things in life that require this type of balance?

Another good example is work and life.  I need to work, so I can live.  If I work too much, I miss out on life.  If I party too much (living large so to speak), I will quickly run out of resources for living.

As I was traveling yesterday, I started thinking about how this applies to serving.  With the advent of social media and blogging, it is easy to get thoughts and ideas out there.  It’s also easy to share with everyone about the details of life.  I’ve done this recently with my trip to Guatemala.  It’s been healthy for me to reflect out loud about this trip and it’s impact on my life.  I hope that it has been expressed with a certain level of humility, but I realize that there is also a danger in sharing about this kind of experience.  We can easily make it all about me.  Look at me!  Look what I’ve done!  I’m the man!

In Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount, he shares some advice for those who help the needy:

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”  Matthew 6:1-4

It seems to me that there has to be some balance here.  The Bible also talks about the importance of spurring one another on toward love and good deeds:

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds… Hebrews 10:24

I hope that my posts about Guatemala and past posts about our H.O.P.E. activities have been taken this way.  For one of my primary goals with this whole blog is to STRETCH others while I’m being STRETCHED.  But if I’m honest, there is probably a small amount of motivation in sharing these types of things that is meant to bring me some glory.  I’m just being honest.

The Apostle Paul gives us some great advice when it comes to balancing this whole thing:

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:3-11

This it the example that we are to follow.  For Jesus, it didn’t require a balancing act.  Everything He did was with humility.  This is how I want to serve.  May the words of my mouth, the meditations of my heart, and the actions of my hands and feet be pleasing to God.

These are thoughts worth STRETCHING for!

What is STRETCHING you today?

How has humility and pride impacted your life?

How and where are you serving these days?