Balaam was used by God, but it does not have to mean that he was really righteous person. God can use all different kind of persons in different ways. Even if we feel we are used by God and God talks to us, that relationship does not guarantee who we are. When God talks to us, we should be humbled to see if we deserve that relationship and give thanks to God who met and talked to us, someone like a sinner. Balaam was a diviner and God talked to him, but he had never been a man of God. When God uses us, let us humble ourselves. When Jesus visited Zacchaeus, it did not mean that he was righteous or deserve to receive Jesus’ visitation. He knew it. So, when he found Jesus visited a sinful man like him, he responded with repentance.
Thanks God for visiting us and using us. We do not deserve your visitation and use of us, but you gave us a chance to meet you and serve you. Let us be humble before you responding to you with our repentance.
How can I curse those whom God has not cursed? Numbers 23:8
Sometimes I get frustrated with people and wind up looking down on them. These days when I get frustrated it is in relation to those who have less resources than me and those who I am going out of my way to help. I don’t curse them, but I do wind up thinking that they are less than me because they don’t think as I do or do as I would in their situation.
This is a particular danger when you are helping others. If we want to be like Jesus, we first need to see people’s inner potential, see who they *really* are – the beauty of their souls – not how they are on the outside or even their actions/deeds. We need to look beyond what we can see with our eyes and see their greatest potential, and we need to help them see themselves in this way.
I believe that this is is how Jesus sees us. He sees me as the priceless diamond that I am, not as the clump of rocks I look like to others. Actually, I am not a priceless diamond, but I become a priceless diamond because God views me like that. Nothing has worth in and of itself, the worth comes from how someone else values you. We choose what we value in this world. If we value the praise of men or the possessions we do not have, we will likely not be happy. But if we value the praise of God and all of the priceless gifts that God has already given us, starting with the gift of relationship with Him, we become people who are rich beyond measure, instantly. We don’t need to win the lottery, we already have everything.
Last summer, I arranged for a few disadvantaged kids from our church to have scholarships to a week-long summer program. I provided transportation. And recently, I realized that they weren’t grateful and didn’t realize the sacrifices I made to make this happen. I was really mad. This experience made me realize that I have a different standard for gratitude from my children. In fact, I don’t expect them to be grateful; I just do things for them because it’s out of love. This experience caused me to realize that part of my altruistic action last summer had to do with pride. I wanted to think of myself as a good person for going out of my way to do this good deed. I felt like they owed me; instead, I owed them. They allowed me into their lives. They shared a part of their lives with me. It is me who is blessed through this exchange. To serve in the name of Jesus is a privilege.
I wonder if Jesus felt this way about us when He was carrying out His purpose on earth. In all that pain, did He feel that it was He who was blessed to serve? In his humility, I think He did consider it a privilege to serve us. And He wanted us to have the same honor that He experienced as He entrusted us to serve others.