We always tell the truth and do not practice deceitfulness of any kind.
Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.- Psalm 34: 12-13
Teaching is taking responsibility for informing the mind, heart and thoughts of my student. When I seek to present truth, knowledge, wisdom--the best thoughts, the most soul-gripping ideals, the foundations of truth and insights of understanding, it forces my own soul to broaden in the preparation of my presentation. Often I find the Life of His words open to my soul as I seek to dig for the best in my presentations. A serious responsibility to seek in some small way to reflect the truth about my creator--an auspicious task. Yet in the pursuit of His reality, my own soul becomes more real.
Truth telling is a matter of integrity, rooted in the heart of every believer. We must train our children to tell the truth about small details, but to understand the difference between what is true and what is deceitful, to have their souls transformed by the righteousness of God, they must know the One who IS truth and pattern their lives after him alone. This is our last of the 24 Family Ways, but it also touches the core of everything we have studied together this summer. What is the most true in your heart? For out of the overflow of your heart, the mouth speaks.
When I decided to teach Joy the attributes of God, I thought if she could grasp even a little of what He is like, then as she forayed out into the world, the understanding of His character and integrity and personal commitment to her would serve her in the days she is tempted to feel alone.
I remember sharing with her, "Man's spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God. Worship is pure or base as the worshipper entertains high or low thoughts of God. What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us." Tozer
So we began with the humility of Christ. I have pondered this summer, "I am humble of heart." What does it mean? He told me to learn this from HIm--not humble in dress, or position or in works--but in heart. And so we began by looking the word up on a dictionary. Humble--modest or unpretentious in one's estimation of oneself in relationship to others.
So Jesus was modest in his estimation of himself in relationship to others. Didn't need to brag, to have the last word, to convince others he was right, to criticize others--but was unpretentious in His relationship to them.
Already, my own heart was being convicted. Yet, it was in the context of looking at Satan's fall, that His humility shown forth like a brilliant light. Ezekiel 28: 12-16 tells us that God created Satan (Lucifer) as one of the highest angels in heaven. He was crafted in beauty--clothed in precious jewels--ruby, topaz, diamond, emerald and defined in the gold settings. His beauty and splendor were magnificent. God created him blameless (Ez. 28: 15). And yet, "Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty." It was as Satan looked at himself, and became proud--exalted in confidence at his own glory, that he lifted himself above God. His pride of his exalted esteem of himself became the ground in which sin would grow.
Satan said in his heart (in contrast to the heart of Jesus), "I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God.... I will make myself like the Most High God." (Isaiah 14:14)
And so it was his pride in himself--I will be like the most high (pretentious--impossible that the creature could ever, ever be equal to his creator)--It was his arrogance that said he would not bow his knee to his creator--he would have the power, the worship, the centerpiece of the life of all people, that all corruption and sin and wickedness gave birth. His grasp for power, allegiance--at any cost. He would win the war of capturing the hearts of those created in God's image, for himself. Pride is the starting point for sin to grow and flourish.
In this light, when the One true God, the creator of the world, the all powerful, omniscient God, comes to the earth, with no stately form or majesty, as a man of sorrows acquainted with grief; as a humble, poor carpenter, --it gives new meaning to the value of "I am humble of heart."
Exactly in contrast to Satan who would exalt himself above all people--at any cost to crushing and killing the souls of all people in order that God would not have allegiance of his own, Jesus comes to bow His knee before the Father and willingly lays down his life for all--even the very lowly, to serve, wash their feet, heal their diseases, forgive their worst deeds.
So, for me, all pride and exalting of myself makes me less like Jesus. All "I am better than you" thoughts because of anything I have done or accomplished--takes me more in the direction of Satan's attitude than that of Jesus. If Jesus, "did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but humbled himself by becoming obedient, even to the point of death," (Philipians 2: 6-8), then His humility of heart becomes my standard.
Jesus who touched lepers, spoke with and forgave prostitutes, ate with tax-collectors, rubbed shoulders with sinners and felt compassion for them, then if I want to be like Him, I must take the same posture. Repenting of pride, humbling myself--seeing myself as modest in my own estimation--serving all people that Christ may be exalted in my life--a life-changing lesson. Indeed in my pursuit of the best to offer my student, Joy, the very windows of heaven were opened up to my soul.
But, then, came the realization that my daughter would not believe the words I taught unless I modeled them to her--humbly serving all in my home, accepting the limitations of all in my life as Jesus did; becoming more of a servant leader--seeking to wash the feet of those He brings my way--only in this will my student believe that I believe the words of my exalted Teacher, "I am meek and humble of heart. Learn from me."
And so in the preparation and teaching of truth, I am discipled by the One who is true and I am hopefully changed forever.