Tag: humility

Stolen Blessings

By: G.J. Fortier

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. “So, when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6:1-4 (NIV)

Are you a thief? No? Okay, but … are you sure?

I’m not here to judge, but don’t think for a second that if I saw you snag a Snickers bar at the convenience store, or I knew for a fact that you were cheating on your taxes, that I wouldn’t say something to you about it! Now, I’m not a snitch, and I’m not going to “anonymously” tattle on you to anyone about your transgressions. Let’s be real, I don’t have to anyway, because the God of the universe(s) knows everything you do anyway, right? But that’s not the kind of thief I’m asking if you are. I’m asking if you’re robbing others of their blessings. Are you the kind of person who doesn’t ask for help? Or worse, will you tell someone who offers to help you “no” because you’re too proud to admit that it would go much easier and smoother for you if you accepted? Maybe you think that when life gives you lemons, it’s your responsibility to suck-it-up and eat them, rind and all, no matter how bad it tastes because you deserve to be punished for … whatever it is that you did at the convenience store when you were 12.

But like I said, we’re not talking about that.

Current Events

By: G. J. Fortier

To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

“He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”

When they hurled insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness;

“by his wounds you have been healed”.

For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the shepherd and overseer of your souls. 2 Peter 2:21-25 (NIV)

We are living in strange times. Would you agree?

I often wonder if the state of the world, and the United States in particular, is worse now than it was in the past. After all, we, the generations who are alive today, cannot be blamed for placing much more emphasis on what we are actually experiencing, as opposed to what we haven’t personally witnessed (on TV), but only read about in books or (more likely) watched on the History Channel. I’ve heard people say that “it’s definitely worse now”, or things have always been “this bad”, it’s just that we hear about more of “it” because of today’s technology, social media, etc. That’s a valid point. But these people have chosen a more cynical view of the happenings around the globe than I do.


By: G. J. Fortier 

We’ve been talking a lot lately about humility. Whether in the Sunday sermon, our daily devotional or the Wednesday evening Bible study, the topic seems to be front and center. And I know what you’re thinking, because I’m thinking it too; it’s hard to be humble when you’re as good as I am!

Kidding aside, humility is something that we all should be striving for, though I can understand and even agree, to a certain extent, why the idea of it isn’t attractive. When we’re humble we do things like, admit our sins and shortcomings, apologize when we wrong someone, hold our tongues when we are wronged, and refrain from making those self-appreciative comments when we do the right thing. These actions, while humble, can make us look weak in the eyes of non-believers. And weak people are victims to be taken advantage of. It’s happened to every single one of us, that time or times when we go over and above to “do it the right way” and then it becomes expected that we continue to go over and above and even beyond what our peers do, sometimes to the extent that we wind up doing most, if not all the work. If this wasn’t true, there wouldn’t be any sayings like “give ‘em an inch and they’ll take a mile”.

None of us want to appear weak. When I think of weakness, I think of that one lame gazelle on the edge of the herd, limping around, searching for leftovers while the lioness is planning on making it the pride’s main course for dinner. When we look like a victim, especially in today’s turbulent world, we could very easily find ourselves in an extremely uncomfortable situation one evening, when we’re approached by a couple of strangers in the middle of the Walmart parking lot.

But, is that what Jesus meant for us to project, weakness?

Who does the Bible say will inherit the Earth? The Weak? No, I’m pretty sure that it says that the meek will inherit the Earth. What’s the difference? Let’s look.

The definition of weakness is: the state or quality of being weak; lack of strength, vigor, or the like; feebleness.

The definition of meekness is: righteoushumble, teachable, and patient under suffering, long suffering, willing to follow gospel teachings; an attribute of a true disciple.

So, not really the same thing, huh?

To be meek is to be humble, not timid. It’s not “tooting our own horn” or criticizing others. It’s being helpful, while maintaining a fair workload. It’s being sincere in our apologies, not boastful about the things that we’ve accomplished or being too prideful in the stuff that we have — or should I say — all the blessings that God has bestowed upon us through His grace. Because if it weren’t for grace, and grace alone, we would find it difficult, indeed, even to take our next breath if He decided to withhold the air that surrounds us. Everything we have, from the clothes that we wear, the cars that we drive, the houses where we live and even the bodies in which our souls reside came from our Father in Heaven.

In my youth, I was a very arrogant man. I wasn’t good looking — far from it in fact — I wasn’t a great athlete — even farther from that — and I wasn’t a particularly good student. What I was, was an outsider. By the time I started working at 16, my family had moved 18 times. I was always the new kid, I was always the fat kid, and I eventually learned that the best way to keep from being picked-on — to keep from being a victim — was to be aggressive. And it was an easy lesson, too. All I had to do was stand up to the bullies and they would back down. I became the guy you didn’t want to mess with. Unfortunately, this behavior translated into my business persona all too easily. I was very overbearing with my employees and as a result, I was not well liked. I found myself going from job to job, not because I wasn’t good at what I did — I was very good at what I did — but because I was a jerk, and people didn’t want to work with me. It took me years to learn from the example of others that you can attract a lot more flies with honey than with vinegar, but there’s always a danger there of becoming a pushover. It’s a very fine line between being domineering and being a wimp, and it took time for me to find that balance. Eventually I did, and my job got a great deal easier.

In my (humble) opinion, any leader worth his or her salt leads by example. As Christians, we are all meant to be leaders. We are all meant to lead others to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. As Christians, we must be that example of grace and humility that Jesus wants us to be, at all times, because we are being watched at all times. The example we set, whether it’s the way we dress, showing courtesy when driving around town, or simply how our yard looks, people are watching to see just what kind of folks Christian’s are. Imagine if the only example they had of what Christianity is was the hypocrites they show on TV protesting soldiers funerals and the like. Who in their right mind would want any part of that?

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)

 The battle is on!

Ephesians 6:10-18 and 2 Chronicles 7:14.

G. J. Fortier is a member of IronMen Ministries and of First Baptist Church, Centerville, Georgia. Look for his book, Mirrored Man: The Rob Tyler Chronicles, Book 1 available on Amazon for Kindle. Or visit his website at www.mirroredman.com.