I Peter 5:6-11
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
The last 24 hours have been a whirlwind that taxed my physically and spiritually. Conflict resolution is a part of life, and yes it is part of the church. But to see God work so gloriously in the lives of people who take scripture as their guide, and submit to the authority of Christ in their lives is so totally inspiring, I looked forward to the extra time and effort required to make my rounds with great joy.
That being said, I never take counseling lightly. One simply can't. As an emissary of God's word, a re-teller if you will of the biblical principles that God has outlined in scripture as our life's guidelines, all I can do is my absolute best to maintain the biblical standard that God has set. I have learned that to be effective at this, or for that matter to be effective at anything you would do on behalf of the Lord is what Peter begins with here in this section of scripture today. You must humble yourself.
Few things are more problematic than a mentor or leader giving direction to another when what they are saying comes off as arrogant or condescending. When that happens you may as well be speaking gibberish or in a tongue that no one understands (with no interpretation) because no one is going to hear what you say. Oh, they'll hear you speaking. They'll know that you are talking. But the words that you are sharing and the supposed guidance you are trying to give will be most likely ignored.
One thing I try to constantly reiterate when counseling is that all counseling is about restoration. That has to be the goal; restoration of relationships with others, and even more importantly restoration of our relationship to God. Why is this so? Well, for the obvious reason that we all need to feel that closeness of our Lord and most especially in times of need. But more importantly, that no matter what path we take, or what path the Lord leads, so that HE might get all the glory.
Peter tells us to cast our cares onto Him. To humble ourselves. To be sober and vigilant. All these things are required to have God lead you, and receive the glory for the work that has been done to and through us. How can God be glorified if we take the credit? How can God be glorified is we are bragging about our role in the restoration? How can God get the glory of He has called us to lead in an area and we drop the ball? If we are carrying the weight of all the problems that jump in front of us in the world today, or all the weight of those brothers and sisters that confide in you for help, how is that casting your cares of Him? Will that bring God the glory of we are carrying the burden? No.
As Peter says, when we get into a place like that we are ripe for the picking. If you are old enough to remember Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, there are two things that stand out in my mind about that show. One is Marlin Perkins side kick always having to do the dirty work like jumping out of flying helicopters onto a running moose or something. Ugh. The other thing is that the slow, wounded, hurt animals were the ones that got eaten by the other animals first. If we are not healthy, we are ripe for the roaring lion to pick us off one by one. We have a roaring Lion in Jesus; the Lion of Judah. The enemy can act like a roaring lion, but he can never be one. Seek that protection from the King of the Jungle, the real King of Kings in Jesus. In Him is our only protection.
Pride comes before the fall. Humility is a quality that Jesus can use. Give it to Him, and He will.