Monday, July 25, 2011

Dignity AND Humility?

Good afternoon my friends. I hope you all had a relaxing and SAFE weekend :) Hubby had to work all day Saturday, so we laid around and did NOTHING after church on Sunday! We needed the down time! I'm sorry today's post is a little later than usual. I had a low blood sugar episode last night around midnight, thought I had it managed and went to sleep, then woke up at 3:30 with my sheets soaked in sweat and my sugar desperately low. (I never checked it, I was too incoherent to do anything but grab for some candy on my nightstand from the hours prior.) By the time I was able to function, it was time to get up and cook for my hubby. Of course, he tried to convince me to go back to bed, but I was already up (getting something a little more lasting in me besides NERDS), so I wanted to take care of him while I was at it. Of course, right before we got up, my lil guy came to bed, so he ended up being up with us. So, I fed my honey, fed my baby, and then me and the baby went back to bed. I'm slow moving today. Bear with me!

As I was laying in bed, reading my Chronological One Year Bible last night, God began to pour something into my heart about what I've been lacking in my journey thus far. I've been concentrating on verse 25 still:

Proverbs 31:25 NLT
She is clothed with strength and dignity,
      and she laughs without fear of the future.

But as I was thinking on strength and dignity, I guess in a sense I was ignoring "dignity". I'm a VERY humble person by nature. But then, last night, God revealed to me that my humility isn't really humility, it's insecurity. There's a difference. Let's compare the two. defines the two as such:


  [huhm-buhl, uhm-]  Show IPA adjective, -bler, -blest, verb, -bled, -bling.
not proud or arrogant; modest: to be humble althoughsuccessful.
having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience,etc.: In the presence of so many world-famous writers Ifelt very humble.
low in rank, importance, status, quality, etc.; lowly: ofhumble origin; a humble home.
courteously respectful: In my humble opinion you arewrong.
low in height, level, etc.; small in size: a humble member ofthe galaxy.
verb (used with object)
to lower in condition, importance, or dignity; abase.
to destroy the independence, power, or will of.
to make meek: to humble one's heart.


  [in-si-kyoor]  Show IPA
subject to fears, doubts, etc.; not self-confident or assured:an insecure person.
not confident or certain; uneasy; anxious: He was insecureabout the examination.
not secure; exposed or liable to risk, loss, or danger: aninsecure stock portfolio.
not firmly or reliably placed or fastened: an insecure ladder.

Notice the tone change? We go from not proud and modest to uneasy and anxious. Those who are humble recognize their self worth, but CHOOSE to be lower in importance, status, rank, etc. Those who are insecure simply are. They do not choose to be that way, they feel that way. It's a fear, a doubt, a constant nagging telling you you're not worthy. God doesn't want us to feel that way. He values us above all else.

Psalm 36:7 NLT
How precious is your unfailing love, O God!
   All humanity finds shelter
      in the shadow of your wings.

Zephaniah 3:17 NLT
For the Lord your God is living among you.
      He is a mighty savior.
   He will take delight in you with gladness.
      With his love, he will calm all your fears.
      He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

Matthew 10:31 NLT
So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.

Now that we have determined the difference between humility and insecurity, and briefly touched on what God says about our value, our self worth, let's take a closer look at the "dignity" word there in Proverbs 31:25. Please, do a google search on God's love and value if you're not convinced that you are valuable to Him.

What is dignity? Really? Is it pride? I mean, the Bible is constantly telling us throughout the proverbs, and in Jesus's own words, how much more God loves the humble. So if dignity is pride, why is Solomon crediting the model woman with dignity? Let's see what the definition of the word is:


  [dig-ni-tee]  Show IPA
noun, plural -ties.
bearing, conduct, or speech indicative of self-respect or appreciation of the formality or gravity of an occasion or situation.
nobility or elevation of character; worthiness: dignity of sentiments.
elevated rank, office, station, etc.
relative standing; rank.
a sign or token of respect: an impertinent question unworthy of the dignity of an answer.
Archaic .
person of high rank or title.
such persons collectively.

Well, if what we've established before is true, that God values us, then shouldn't we value ourselves? Should we not have self-respect? But I like the second part of that definition.
nobility or elevation of character; worthiness
Notice that key word? Character. What is character?


  [kar-ik-ter]  Show IPA
the aggregate of features and traits that form the individualnature of some person or thing.
one such feature or trait; characteristic.
moral or ethical quality: a man of fine, honorable character.
qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity: It takescharacter to face up to a bully.
reputation: a stain on one's character.
good repute.
an account of the qualities or peculiarities of a person orthing.
a person, especially with reference to behavior orpersonality: a suspicious character.
Informal an odd, eccentric, or unusual person.
a person represented in a drama, story, etc.
a part or role, as in a play or film.
a symbol as used in a writing system, as a letter of thealphabet.
the symbols of a writing system collectively.
a significant visual mark or symbol.
status or capacity: the character of a justice of the peace.
a written statement from an employer concerning thequalities of a former employee.
Literature (especially in 17th- and 18th-century England) aformal character sketch or descriptive analysis of a particularhuman virtue or vice as represented in a person or type.Compare character sketch.
Genetics any trait, function, structure, or substance of anorganism resulting from the effect of one or more genes asmodified by the environment.
Computers .
any symbol, as a number, letter, punctuation mark, etc.,that represents data and that, when encoded, is usableby a machine.
one of a set of basic symbols that singly or in a series oftwo or more represents data and, when encoded, isusable in a computer.
a style of writing or printing.
Roman Catholic Theology the ineffaceable imprint receivedon the soul through the sacraments of baptism, confirmation,and ordination.
(formerly) a cipher or cipher message.

That one has a pretty long and diverse definition! Here, however, we're concentrating on numbers 3-7. Let's just stick with numbers 3 and 4. Moral or ethical quality. Qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity. So someone with dignity, in essence, has high moral and ethical qualities that include honesty, courage, and integrity. Integrity is defined as adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty. 

Wow, we've really covered a lot of ground today. A humble woman understands her self-worth, but excludes pride from entering her heart. An insecure woman feels she's worthless. And God has made it clear to us that we are not worthless. He loved us enough to sacrifice His own son to spend eternity with us. Why would He do that for someone He considers worthless? But a woman who encompasses dignity holds characters of honesty, courage, and integrity. And most likely I would dare to guess God includes humility in there. Paul tells us what the fruit, the characteristics, of living a life controlled by God looks like:

Galatians 5:22-23 NLT
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

A woman with dignity should possess ALL of those traits. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Those are the outward evidence of the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit. 

So, are you a woman of dignity? Or are you a woman of insecurity? Dignity does involve humility, but humility and insecurity are not the same. Please pray for me, will you? I have a LONG WAY to go in allowing God to rid my heart of the insecurities I've allowed Satan to grow there. I will pray for you, as well. 

Love you all! I pray that this week is a week of growth, strength, encouragement, and success for us all!

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