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“HUMBLY COACHED” – April 27

April 27, 2013

“And his fame spread far, for he was marvelously helped, till he was strong.  But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his own destruction.” 2 Chronicles 26:15b-16

A swimming club of sorts has developed at my work.  There are four of us who make the trek to the pool throughout the week to get some exercise by swimming laps.  None of us are experts in the fine art of swimming.  So, we share articles and videos with advice on how to be more efficient at moving through the water.  We know we are weak swimmers but we want to get stronger.  Therefore, we try to tweak our technique when we find some good advice.

The CoachSwimming is an activity that is particularly hard to critique yourself.  You may think that you’re efficiently gliding through the water but it is hard to really know.  It is very helpful to have someone watch you swim and provide a little coaching.  One of my friends spotted a problem in my swim technique a while back.  I was able to do some drills based on that observation to correct a deficiency that I was not even aware of.  I could not see it.

Coaching is only of value if you are willing to listen and change. 

I am very willing to take coaching advice in areas where I know that I am weak or from people who I know are stronger than I am.  They are strong. I am weak.  I want to know what they think might be of help to make me stronger.

However, what happens when you become stronger?

Walter Miller  (LOC)I have to admit that I am less inclined to listen to those who I perceive to be weaker than I am.  I bristle when advice comes from someone who appears under-qualified.  I am tempted to disregard coaching when I question the person’s motivations or they make me feel inferior.

The problem with strength is that it can cause us to unknowingly slide beyond the help of coaching.  Coaching will work only if it is heard.  Relative strength is such a fiendish enemy because it plugs our ears.  If you are the strongest person you know, then what does anyone have to teach you?

This is why strength can easily lead directly into pride.  Pride is an inordinate opinion of one’s own strength.  That opinion gets displayed in how we feel other people should relate to us or the value we place in their observations.  It is easy for the proud to dismiss the coaching of others.  Pride will defend its lofty opinion when others don’t support it appropriately.

It is so easy to get caught in the trap of our own strength.  The only escape from this trap is to recognize that our perceived strength is relative.  It is relative to those who are around us.  It is easy to be the big fish in a small pond.  It is even easier to be the big fish when you’re the sole inhabitant of the fish bowl.  There is never a place for pride when we realize our pond is the universe.  No one has any strength that is greater than the great I AM.  We all stand humbled before God.  We all stand meritless before the worthiness of Christ.  Our boasts are laughable on the scale of our Redeemer’s works.

However, our pride is not amusing to God.  It is gravely offensive to our Lord.  God hates the proud because they deny His surpassing strength.  The proud are fools in thinking that they are equal to God. The practical result of comparing our strengths to the God of the Universe is a humility that opens our ears to coaching.  A humbled heart will recognize the weaknesses in their strengths.  It is by the work of the Spirit that we become stronger in our faith.

Sanctification is the result of following the coaching of God.

Praise God that he does not leave us to our devices to try to figure out our sanctification on our own.  The Father has sent the Spirit in the name of Jesus to teach us all things and to bring to our remembrance the teachings of Christ. (John 14:26)

We need to be humble and accept the teachings of the Spirit in all forms:

The Spirit directs us through the scriptures and prayer.

The Spirit teaches us through teachers and pastors.

The Spirit pushes us toward a deeper relationship with the Father through mature believers.

He also trains us through the weak.

He uses the questions of the immature to convict our own hearts.

He uses the accusations of the unsaved to reveal our hypocrisy.

He even can use the donkeys of this world to speak truth. (Numbers 22:28)

We must recognize that the rejection of a message simply due to our perceived status of the messenger is a form of pride.  Pride such as that is hated by God.  Now, we must be wise and discerning to recognize truth from the chaff of the world.  However, pride does not have a place in that process.

May we be humble, wise, and discerning to see the Spirit’s coaching in all the wonderful variations and forms that He uses.

PRAYER: Father, forgive me for my pride.  Lord, I know how quickly I tend to take my eyes off of you.  Keep me from having the blessings of sanctification transform into a hinderance.  Forgive me if my pride has been a stumbling block to others.  Father, keep my eyes fixed on you.  May all my comparisons be to your surpassing worth.  Give me a humble and contrite heart that longs for only You.  I praise You and pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ.   Amen.

12 comments

  1. Great post JD,

    Indeed, we must be humble, comparing ourselves to Jesus and the best of the best at our crafts, so that we may grow exponentially.

    After all, any comparing to people lower than us is but a temporary, selfish moral boost. (1 Corinthians 10:12)

    https://connordefehr.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/its-a-dog-eat-dog-world-out-there-so-dont-be-a-dog/


  2. I pray that God will keep my ears open to coaching! Thanks, JD


  3. Good Post


  4. […] Humbly Coached, at boyslumber.wordpress.com […]


  5. I’m convince more and more that all fight with sin comes down to a fight with our pride


  6. I remember days I talked a great deal about humility….and I remember days that I experienced humility….it was a LONG hard trip for me from one place to the other. I seemed to have a bit of trouble getting from point A to point B and point B is on a very slippery slope!


  7. This is a perfect low key, soft sell approach to sanctification. This is why I reblogged your other piece onto my page, for my followers to read, and also why I awarded you the very inspiring blogger award. You allow the Holy Spirit to draw people through you to higher spiritual levels, without the judgementalism found in so many camps. Peace be unto you!


  8. Good Post:)


  9. This devotion smacks me between the eyes. Years ago my great grandmother told me that “pride goes before a fall.” My life has taught me the wisdom of those words…and i still get caught up in it unless I am extremely vigilent. I thank God for His help in my efforts to tame the beast called pride.

    Thank you for this dead-on devotion. It is a treasure and a blessing.


  10. Hey, check out the Senior Olympics if you are over 50. I too met a guy at the pool who critiqued me. Now I am glad that he did. I wrote something about it called Accidental Coach.


  11. I will work on this till the day I die. Every day I learn how much I don’t know and how little I am capable of. God has to take over for me Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.


  12. Thank you for this. It’s easy to develop pride in even small things. Humility is an essential thing to cultivate to have a healthy and developing Christian walk.



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