Saturday, January 03, 2009

PROUD or Broken?

We will begin a ladies' Bible study at my church in a few weeks and I am so excited. It's been 7 long months since I've facilitated a group and I am so ready to get back in! We will be using Nancy Leigh Demoss's book Brokenness--which, as I told you before, is sure to grant us a healthy dose of conviction.

I don't want any of you to feel left out in the conviction department so I thought I would share a portion of the chapter "Am I a Proud or a Broken Person?" (Remember: conviction is good! It's the Lord's kindness to us, Rom. 2:4!)

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PROUD PEOPLE FOCUS ON THE FAILURES OF OTHERS AND CAN READILY POINT OUT THOSE FAULTS.
*Broken people are more conscious of their own spiritual need than of anyone else's.

PROUD PEOPLE ARE ESPECIALLY PRONE TO CRITICIZE THOSE IN POSITIONS OF AUTHORITY--THEIR PASTOR, THEIR BOSS, THEIR HUSBAND, THEIR PARENTS--AND THEY TALK TO OTHERS ABOUT THE FAULTS THEY SEE.
*Broken people reverence, encourage, and lift up those that God has placed in positions of authority, and they talk to God in intercession, rather than gossiping about the faults they see in others.

PROUD PEOPLE HAVE AN INDEPENDENT, SELF-SUFFICIENT SPIRIT.
*Broken people have a dependent spirit; they recognize their need for God and for others.

PROUD PEOPLE HAVE TO PROVE THAT THEY ARE RIGHT--AND THEY HAVE TO GET THE LAST WORD.
*Broken people are willing to yield the right to be right.

PROUD PEOPLE ARE SELF-PROTECTIVE OF THEIR TIME, THEIR RIGHTS, AND THEIR REPUTATION.
*Broken people are self-denying and self-sacrificing.

PROUD PEOPLE DESIRE TO BE KNOWN AS A SUCCESS.
*Broken people are motivated to be faithful and to make others successful.

PROUD PEOPLE ARE ELATED BY PRAISE AND DEFLATED BY CRITICISM.
*Broken people know that any praise of their accomplishments belongs to the Lord and that criticism can help them grow into spiritual maturity.

PROUD PEOPLE ARE SELF-CONSCIOUS; THEY WORRY ABOUT WHAT OTHERS THINK OF THEM.
*Broken people are not preoccupied with what others think of them.

PROUD PEOPLE CAN'T BEAR TO FAIL OR FOR ANYONE TO THINK THEY ARE LESS THAN PERFECT. THIS CAN DRIVE THEM TO EXTREMES--WORKAHOLIC TENDENCIES, PERFECTIONISM, THE TENDENCY TO DRIVE OTHERS OR TO PLACE UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS ON THEMSELVES OR OTHERS.
*Broken people can recognize and live within God-given limitations.

PROUD PEOPLE WAIT FOR OTHERS TO COME AND ASK FORGIVENESS WHEN THERE IS A MISUNDERSTANDING OR A BREACH IN A RELATIONSHIP.
*Broken people take the initiative to be reconciled, no matter how wrong the other party may have been.

PROUD PEOPLE FIND IT DIFFICULT TO DISCUSS THEIR SPIRITUAL NEEDS WITH OTHERS.
*Broken people are willing to be open and transparent with others as God directs.

PROUD PEOPLE TEND TO DEAL IN GENERALITIES WHEN CONFESSING THEIR SIN TO GOD ("DEAR LORD, PLEASE FORGIVE ME FOR ALL MY SINS...") OR EXPRESSING SPIRITUAL NEED TO OTHERS.
*Broken people are able to acknowledge specifics when confessing their sin: "Lord, I agree with You that I love myself more than I love my mate; I confess that I am addicted to television; I'm a glutton; I have a critical spirit; I am an angry mother..."

PROUD PEOPLE DON'T THINK THEY NEED REVIVAL, BUT THEY ARE SURE EVERYONE ELSE DOES. (IN FACT, RIGHT ABOUT NOW, THEY ARE MAKING A MENTAL LIST OF THE PEOPLE THEY THINK NEED TO READ THIS BOOK!)
*Broken people continually sense their need for a fresh encounter with God and for a fresh filling of His Holy Spirit.

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Convicting, isn't it? And that's only a portion of the contrast Demoss draws between the proud and the broken! Are you a broken Christian? Demoss concludes the chapter...
If this list has helped you realize that you are a proud, rather than a broken, person, do not despair. God has been merciful to show you your need. The first step to brokenness and humility is to get honest and acknowledge your need. Walk in the light; agree with God about what He has revealed to be the true condition of your heart. Don't try to cover up, justify, rationalize, compare yourself with your mate, or pretend that you are better off than you really are. "Humble [yourself] in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up" (James 4:10). The infinite riches and blessings of the kingdom of God belong to those who recognize their spiritual poverty.

4 comments:

  1. Hmmpf. Would you get out of my business?! Wow. She doesn't mince words. Now that my foot is mended and I'm on calcium maybe I'll pick this book back up again.

    About the interceding instead of gossipping about others' faults, My Utmost for His Highest Spurgeon says "When we discern that people are not going on spiritually and allow the discernment to turn to criticism, we block our way to God. God never gives us discernment in order that we may criticize, but that we may intercede."

    Thank for sharing. I think.

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  2. You would post this just as I am getting ready to go back to work. I find it so much easier to be (self) righteous around all those unbelievers!

    Thanks for the prodding.

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  3. Yeah, I'm a bit with Linda on this one. Can you stop now?

    No, seriously, I'm excited that you're getting to start back into teaching because that means your readers (moi!) receive the generous overflow of how God is teaching you. That's a 2009 gift right there.

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  4. Lisa,

    ...I think you need to stop reading my journals!

    Goodness friend, this was excruciating to read.

    The Lord has blessed me with a Bible study for now, but I do believe that I need to do this one next. I do hope you give updates from time to time.

    ...hmmm, come to think about it, this list was painful enough! ha ha

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