Today's post is for those of you who counsel. You are a leader. Truthfully, anyone who is in the role of mentoring or discipling others is in a position of leadership. It may not be an official position in your church, but trust me, you are a leader to the women you minister to.
All leadership is a position of trust. Someone trusts you enough to allow you into their private life and to share with you difficult, sometimes intimate, and always painful details of their relationships.
Many women who disciple have undergone extensive training and possess great knowledge and wisdom from a biblical point of view. Because the heart of (wo)man is sinful and depraved it is easy to become prideful and puffed up with knowledge. The temptation can be there to begin to think one is beyond correction or reproach. I have seen it happen to counselors and pastors alike, so I know this is true!
How can we maintain a humble heart?
A refusal to take any of these steps is a clear indication that you may not be "fit" for service to the King right now. We are held to a much higher standard by God because of the Truth we present to the people of God. Our actions and attitudes, thoughts beliefs and desires are to be worthy of imitation by those we disciple and mentor. It is a humbling thought for me as I reflect on my own heart and realize that I am not always a godly example.
- Examine yourself. Ask yourself the hard questions. Do you bristle when someone has a better way than yours? Do you seek the wisdom of others? What happens when someone criticizes you? Do you listen and evaluate what is true and repent and change, or do you justify and rationalize your behavior?
- Ask a close friend to tell you the truth. This is tough, and a willingness to do this is a good sign you have some measure of humility already! I would suggest that if you are going to take this step that you be prepared for whatever is said to you. You may hear things you are not expecting.
- Pray God would illuminate your heart to the sins therein. God is the Chief exposer of the heart and He desires for us to be humble. In fact, Scripture tells us that God opposes the proud! (James 4:6)
- Once you become aware of what lurks there, you are to confess those sins to God. Confession means that you agree that you have been wrong, that you have sinned. If you have sinned against another person by your lack of humility then you must confess to them as well. Two of the most difficult words for a person who struggles with humility to utter are "I'm sorry."
- Ask your friends and family for forgiveness and thank God for His forgiveness.
- Make yourself accountable to someone who is not afraid to be honest with you.
My sinful humanity tends to sneak in from around the edges. If it were a frontal assault I would recognize it immediately and refute it, but the sin-seed that is in my own heart is so deceptive and so sneaky that I don't always see it until it has given birth to full blown sin. Be mindful of the deceptiveness of the pride that resides in your heart.