Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! God’s Truth Appears in Some Strange Places

Have you ever noticed how beautifully summer competition shows on TV illustrate Biblical truth?

For example, the power of self-delusion is clearly illustrated by the number of whackos who come before the panels of judges with full confidence in a talent they clearly do not possess.

This phenomenon illustrates Psalm 4:2a “How long will you people turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?”

I’ve always wondered at the notion that people could be completely deluded and deceived but now I’ve seen enough nutcases walk out before an audience of millions proclaiming themselves worthy of a million dollar award only to proceed to play their armpits that I am thoroughly convinced.

Friends should not let friends perform deluded.

Another example of Biblical truth demonstrated by award shows is the dramatic power of watching a person step into the spotlight who appears with no bravado, no special attractiveness, no obvious promise of greatness only to have them begin to dance or to sing and become mesmerized with a million other people at the beauty they have hidden away behind their humility.

Those moments are rare but I recall nearly every one I’ve seen. It’s as if everything stops for the brief performance and the collective human spirit of all who watch with mouths agape is elevated to a place of forgotten hope, of surprising beauty, of a glimpse into the art of God.

Similarly, it’s as painful and repulsive as a car wreck to watch someone swagger onto the stage, proclaim him or herself great and then deliver a performance that inspires mockery and jeering from the audience. This, not surprisingly, is a more common occurrence and illustrative of a society that is big on bravado but short on the ability to “bring it” when it counts.

Jesus told this story to a table full of religious hotshots: “When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable: “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Luke 14:7-11

Cultivating humility is the ultimate act of faith. Notice in this parable that the person who chooses humility is completely dependent on the host of the gathering to be noticed or exalted. It’s not easy for modern humans to depend on someone else or to wait for recognition.

When early humans combined forces in Babylon to build a city and a great tower, they did it to “make a name for themselves.” God frustrated their efforts by confusing their language and dividing humanity to put an end to such prideful foolishness.

But when He chose Abraham, a man of humility and faith, to be the father of His people, He promised Abraham that He, God, would “make Abraham’s name great.” We continue to have that choice – to make a name for ourselves or to trust God to sort out our opportunity for greatness.

Living with humility takes incredible faith (at least, I assume it does since I haven’t tried it yet) because by living this way we surrender our independence and become completely dependent on God to put us forward at the right time.

No wonder it is such a rare sight to behold.

As seen on TV’s across America, prideful fools ready for a fall abound and humble artists quietly trusting their turn to shine are rare.

But when it happens, the moment is startling, inspiring, and whispers to us that God is right, after all.

Funny, isn’t it, wisdom does cry aloud in the the streets – and from stages telecast to millions – “God is right, after all. Find His way and walk in it!”

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  1. Carmen says:

    Good post on humility! Enjoyed the show last night too. His voice was incredible!

  2. “Friends should not let friends perform deluded.” I LOVE that! Let’s promise to do that for each other. We need friends to watch our backs! 🙂