Lesson One, Question 6

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Lesson One, Question 6

Post by Tara Bernard on Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:51 pm

6. What can you do to maintain a servant’s attitude in your day-to-day living?

In what ways can you develop the kind of humble spirit that Mary had?

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Re: Lesson One, Question 6

Post by Tara Bernard on Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:09 pm

6. Boy, maintaining a servant’s attitude toward God is difficult! Particularly in the modern American culture where self-sufficiency is highly prized. I think we can get caught up in demonstrating an “attitude of gratitude” which camouflages a bit of “look what I did” and “being grateful for this is all I need to do to deserve it.” I don’t think this is deliberate, I think it’s just a trap that we easily fall into. I think true daily, hourly, sometimes by-the-minute repentance for where we so easily go astray, true requests for God to use us as He sees fit (which He will anyway, ha!) and a heartfelt avowal to be ready, able and willing to be worked through is the only chance we have to keep even a semblance of a servant’s attitude. I can work on developing a humble spirit by reminding myself constantly that it would be the height of hubris, not to mention folly, to say, “Hey, look, God. I’ve got this great plan for my life here, so what do you say, we work together to make it happen?” I try to imagine myself as a toddler, telling my parents that MY plan doesn’t call for getting a shot in the arm or butt by a big, long, needle, thank you, and clearly MY plan is better than theirs, so, hey, let’s all go eat ice cream until we throw up, okay?”



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Re: Lesson One, Question 6

Post by Barbara Alexander on Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:17 pm

Tara Bernard wrote:6.   Boy, maintaining a servant’s attitude toward God is difficult!  Particularly in the modern American culture where self-sufficiency is highly prized.  I think we can get caught up in demonstrating an “attitude of gratitude” which camouflages a bit of “look what I did” and “being grateful for this is all I need to do to deserve it.”  I don’t think this is deliberate, I think it’s just a trap that we easily fall into.  I think true daily, hourly, sometimes by-the-minute repentance for where we so easily go astray, true requests for God to use us as He sees fit (which He will anyway, ha!) and a heartfelt avowal to be ready, able and willing to be worked through is the only chance we have to keep even a semblance of a servant’s attitude.  I can work on developing a humble spirit by reminding myself constantly that it would be the height of hubris, not to mention folly, to say, “Hey, look, God.  I’ve got this great plan for my life here, so what do you say, we work together to make it happen?”  I try to imagine myself as a toddler, telling my parents that MY plan doesn’t call for getting a shot in the arm or butt by a big, long, needle, thank you, and clearly MY plan is better than theirs, so, hey, let’s all go eat ice cream until we throw up, okay?”




I had a problem with the exact wording on the question: “What can you do to maintain a servant’s attitude in your day-to-day living?” I think where I have trouble is that the question was not worded “maintain a servant’s attitude toward God.”



The word “servant”: A very common word with a variety of meanings, all implying a greater or less degree of inferiority and want of freedom.



I do not want freedom from God! I know that I am an instrument that God uses for His purposes and I want to be His servant. I’d like to be “a hole in the flute that Christ’s breath flows through.”

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Re: Lesson One, Question 6

Post by Pamela Meyers on Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:57 pm

oh, Tara! Love that monologue about let's go eat ice-cream until we throw up! Of course, I have gone to eat ice-cream until I threw up...and received a natural consequence lesson. Expect I have more to learn, too. LOL.

Maintaining a servant's attitude... I think this is partly a habit we can develop. After a time, "How can I help?" becomes an automatic response. It's also helpful that helping others feels good. ("It's nice to be nice to the nice." - Frank Burns). We can maintain that servant attitude by helping to create an atmosphere around us where servanthood is valued, if at times only by ourselves. I've found that being a servant is often contagious, though, when it's recognized and appreciated.

I don't think self-sufficiency gets in the way of serving God. When Will figured out how to clean his own bathtub, it was helpful to me. I didn't find that threatening. I don't see God as being "needy". He doesn't "need' me to bow down in a heap of self-depreciation and loathing in order for either one of us to feel good. I think that would be pretty tiring and frustrating (like having to put up with Dobby from the Harry Potter movies). Instead, I imagine God's pretty happy when I can say to both of us, "Well, that did not go as I planned or wanted. But this is how it is, and I'm choosing to be okay with that because I know you're okay with that. Sure do love you, God."

As for developing a humble spirit like Mary, I'm not Mary (obviously). That's sort of like saying, "Why can't you be more like your sister?!" -- No, I'm not particularly humble; but neither am I overly conceited. I don't tend to brag, but I do think it's beneficial to appreciate and foster excellent character qualities we each have. I try to be kind, understanding, helpful, considerate, compassionate, empathetic, brave, encouraging, and accepting. I think God's okay with that.

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Re: Lesson One, Question 6

Post by Pamela Meyers on Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:23 pm

Tara Bernard wrote:  I can work on developing a humble spirit by reminding myself constantly that it would be the height of hubris, not to mention folly, to say, “Hey, look, God.  I’ve got this great plan for my life here, so what do you say, we work together to make it happen?”  I try to imagine myself as a toddler, telling my parents that MY plan doesn’t call for getting a shot in the arm or butt by a big, long, needle, thank you, and clearly MY plan is better than theirs, so, hey, let’s all go eat ice cream until we throw up, okay?”

I can TOTALLY imagine saying that as a toddler, or adult for that matter. Given the information I have as a toddler, my plan IS better than a poke in the arm. Of course, that's not how it works out, and as a result we don't die of smallpox. Fast forward to today: Given the information I currently have, I have to make the best plans I can and move forward with them. Hopefully as an adult, they are more long-sighted and carefully considered than they were 47 years ago. I don't think that annoys God, nor is it necessarily arrogant. But sometimes my plans don't work out, and as a result I don't become the super model I thought I wanted to be, or whatever. Instead, I become a teacher. Or a mom. Or a person who experiences the pain of divorce and can now perhaps offer help to someone at work who is struggling with the same issue. And I feel thankful and appreciative of the outcome... and then I make more plans. I don't necessarily see that as folly. I see that as honoring God by making the most of the time and resources I've been given and earnestly learning from my experiences to the best of my ability with as much joy and love as I can for as long as I can. -- Does that make sense?


Last edited by Pamela Meyers on Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:27 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Lesson One, Question 6

Post by Pamela Meyers on Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:24 pm

Question: Does God need us to proclaim that we are His to use in order for Him to use us?

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Re: Lesson One, Question 6

Post by Tara Bernard on Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:04 am

Pamela Meyers wrote:
Tara Bernard wrote:  I can work on developing a humble spirit by reminding myself constantly that it would be the height of hubris, not to mention folly, to say, “Hey, look, God.  I’ve got this great plan for my life here, so what do you say, we work together to make it happen?”  I try to imagine myself as a toddler, telling my parents that MY plan doesn’t call for getting a shot in the arm or butt by a big, long, needle, thank you, and clearly MY plan is better than theirs, so, hey, let’s all go eat ice cream until we throw up, okay?”

I can TOTALLY imagine saying that as a toddler, or adult for that matter. Given the information I have as a toddler, my plan IS better than a poke in the arm. Of course, that's not how it works out, and as a result we don't die of smallpox. Fast forward to today: Given the information I currently have, I have to make the best plans I can and move forward with them. Hopefully as an adult, they are more long-sighted and carefully considered than they were 47 years ago. I don't think that annoys God, nor is it necessarily arrogant. But sometimes my plans don't work out, and as a result I don't become the super model I thought I wanted to be, or whatever. Instead, I become a teacher. Or a mom. Or a person who experiences the pain of divorce and can now perhaps offer help to someone at work who is struggling with the same issue. And I feel thankful and appreciative of the outcome... and then I make more plans. I don't necessarily see that as folly. I see that as honoring God by making the most of the time and resources I've been given and earnestly learning from my experiences to the best of my ability with as much joy and love as I can for as long as I can. -- Does that make sense?

Making plans is certainly not folly--thinking that your plan is better than God's is, at best, immaturity. I don't think it annoys God, either, I think it might possibly amuse him. LOL! I think the issue here revolves around humility. And a willingness to say, "Okay, here's my plan, God. I'm open to suggestion and/or correction if I'm making a bad decision. And if this plan's purpose is to teach me something, let me learn it with gratitude." In other words, I think recognizing that we don't see as big of a picture as He does and that our limited view might lead us astray is, I think, what we're after here. Or, I don't know, I think God wants us to say, "You know, I really don't want a poke in the arm or butt today, but if that's what you want me to have, then I'll trust that there is a good reason for it." Do you see the distinction?
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Re: Lesson One, Question 6

Post by Tara Bernard on Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:12 am

Pamela Meyers wrote:Question: Does God need us to proclaim that we are His to use in order for Him to use us?

Obviously not. He used Pharoah who specifically declared that he was NOT God's to use, thank you very much. He uses the least of us, he uses the greatest of us, he uses the worst sinners among us, he uses the least sinful among us. In some doctrinal systems, he uses everyone and everything to demonstrate his glory.

A further question might be, "Does God "need" anything from us?" the Bible clearly says he doesn't. Acts 17:25 (ESV): nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.

Does he want us to proclaim that we are his to use? My opinion, yes and no. He wants us, I think, to recognize that we are his to use. He wants us to proclaim though our actions that we are his to use.
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