A conflict of interest it would seem, to live a humble life yet have big dreams/goals. From a biblical standpoint, we are to be humble servants, emulating Christ and being very modest about our own esteem. From a worldly standpoint, we should be proud of our accomplishments, after all we did it, right? So how do we live this dignified and quiet life, pleasing to the Lord yet chase after our aspirations and accomplish something bigger than ourselves – especially when that big dream involves finances or being in the spotlight?
ASK YOURSELF SOME VERY SERIOUS QUESTIONS
ASK GOD, THE AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF YOUR SALVATION
Firstly, whenever we make any big decisions as followers of Christ, we should be consulting Him first. Hearing from the Lord can come in many forms, which I’ll discuss in another post, but there are a few basics that I think we need to cover when we involve God in our life plans.
First, does this dream / idea seek to glorify Him? Now, let me say that I’m not insinuating every little thing we strive for in life has to be directly related to God in a loud and tangible way, but moreso that it doesn’t conflict with our faith. If we decide to start a new career, is it going to be something we are proud of in front of Jesus, or ashamed of? For instance, there’s nothing wrong with being a lawyer or a bank teller – as long as you’re honest, obviously – but…. if you want to be a go-go dancer or a bartender, that’s a different story, ya see?
Pray about it. So many people think that praying is a one way thing but that could not be further from the truth! When we meet with God in prayer regularly, He responds. It may not always be a response we want, but He responds.
I’m not saying it will [always] be audible, but we will receive an answer if we keep knocking.
Read the bible! 2 Timothy 3:16 says “all Scripture is God breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” Your answer may or may not be in black and white, but reading God’s word will give you wisdom and invite the Holy Spirit in to speak to your conscious and help to lead and guide you.
Seek wise counsel. The bible has much to say on seeking wisdom from our fellow humans:
- The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice. – Proverbs 12:15
- Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. – Proverbs 15:22
- Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. – Proverbs 19:20-21
- & many more verses.
If you have a Study Bible, you can actually search by topic or words to find related verses!
Worship! “You may be saying, “WHAT does this have to do with decision making?!” But again, you’re inviting the Holy Spirit into your living tabernacle by worshiping the Father in spirit and truth. Not only should we praise Him with our voice (our hands, instruments & dancing) but also with our lives, the way we live, the way we talk, who we are and what we do. When we are living according to God’s will for our lives, our path will become much more clear.
BE THOUGHTFUL, DO YOUR RESEARCH
To be a wise steward of what you’re given, you need to make wise choices / investments. By investments this can be money, resources or time. You really need to evaluate what impact this choice will have on your finances, yes, but also on your family and relationship with God. A humble servant of the Lord isn’t going to put all of their “eggs” in one “basket” so to speak, they’re going to carefully weigh their decision before going forward. We don’t want to live beyond our means trying to achieve whatever it is that we’re chasing after, because we might end off worse off than we started. Depending on the magnitude of your dream, it may require a huge time and/or money investment in order to see the fruition. This should be taken into account, and all options and outcome weighed thoughtfully.
DISCUSS WITH SPOUSE / FAMILY
In today’s society, we as women especially are so concerned with being on equal playing ground with our male counterparts that we sometimes try to be above them. As modern wives, most of us are anything but submissive. Again, this is a whole other post, but it needs to be said. “Wives should submit to their husbands in everything” (emphasis added) – Ephesians 5:24. It’s not easy, it’s not always ideal (for us) and it doesn’t always happen, but it’s important to God’s plan.
So also should husbands consult their wives. Communication is key here, and any big decision should be discussed with one another. This helps with clarity, transparency and intimacy within the marriage. This can also be quite the asset if your spouse decides to be on board and help this dream manifest into reality!
LITERALLY, STAY HUMBLE
So, your dream is coming to realization. Things are working out and you see that this was in fact the right path to take. You’ve seen the Lord’s hand at work in your venture, and you’re having a good amount of success. It’s so essential to remember to actually stay humble. You didn’t get here on your own. I like the saying our pastor says often “If you’re walking along a country road and you see a turtle on a fence post, remember – he didn’t get there on his own.” Most importantly, it was Christ who made this possible, but also if you look back, there were probably so many people along the path to where you are now who helped you get there. It’s easy for any success, large or small, to go to our heads, but pride is no good and can damage our relationships with others and God. Remember, “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.” Psalms 25:9
“If you’re walking along a country road and you see a turtle on a fence post, remember – he didn’t get there on his own.”
In closing, I don’t believe that it’s wrong to follow our dreams and want more out of life, as long as we check our pride at the door, avoid arrogance and remember to put God first in everything. If we are given a platform we should use it to point to Him, if we are given abundance we should use it to help others and if we follow our dreams and things don’t work out we should still give all the glory to Him and be content with what we have, which is far more than we deserve. Remember, friends, stay humble but dream your big, scary exciting dreams – because, if your dream doesn’t scare you, it probably isn’t big enough!
What do you think, is it possible to chase (and achieve) big dreams and stay a humble servant of Christ? I’d love to hear your opinion!