I know it’s childish but I love reading about donkeys in the Bible. It can’t be just any Bible, it has to be the King James Bible. Unless you considered soap a food group, the only time you could say the word “ass” when I was growing up was when you read it in the Bible. To this day, it doesn’t matter which version I read, every time the word donkey comes up I laugh under my breath because I know that the real Bible translation says ass. When my kids got older I would often tell them to, “Stop acting like a King James donkey” if they were getting on my nerves. I am Balaam’s Donkey – did you just smirk, maybe even laugh? You can’t help thinking, “Dave is admitting that he is a King James Donkey.”
As a pastor used by God to present messages in a public forum, I need to be careful.
I would like to believe that I am humble. I am not sure if the fact that I like to believe I am humble actually makes me arrogant. I am not even sure where the boundary is placed between honest assessment of my giftings and puffed up arrogance. My natural response is to try to downplay my abilities when complimented after a sermon or leading worship. This often leads to an awkward silence as the person who was touched by my presentation is left wondering what to say next and I am left wondering if I came off even more arrogant by denying that I had done well. Then I remind myself that God can speak through a donkey – I am Balaam’s donkey.
As a father/grandfather of the most amazing kids/grandkids, I need to be careful.
I have been known to brag about my kids and grandkids a little. It’s tough not to say, “That’s my boy out there.” I have 3 sons, 3 grandsons and 1 granddaughter so it is very tough not to say, “That’s my boy!” When any of them are not acting in a way that I approve I have been known to point out their mother when it comes to my sons and their parents when it comes to my grandchildren conveniently omitting their relationship to me. Of course if they excel I am the first to admit that I raised them or that I raised their father. Then I remind myself that God can speak through a donkey – I am Balaam’s donkey.
As a loving, wonderful husband, I need to be careful.
I like to think of myself as a good husband. In fairness my wife makes it very easy for me to be a good husband. I have at times failed at being loving and kind but after 32 years of marriage I would have to say I, and my wife of course, are doing something right. We have stayed together through worse, poorer and sickness with very little better, not richer and only a short time of health. I must be good at this marriage thing. I must be saying the right things at the right time or we wouldn’t still be married. Then I remind myself that God can speak through a donkey – I am Balaam’s donkey.
It doesn’t matter what I do in life, I need to be careful
It is so easy to think highly of ourselves. There is an arrogance that Satan likes to inject into the followers of Christ causing us to look at others as being less holy or more sinful and ourselves as being somehow better, more blessed because we feel that God is using us. As you read this you may be thinking, “That’s not me, I would never do that.” Maybe you are right, maybe you have never though that others are less holy and more sinful than you but is it possible that you have thought that you are more blessed than others? Maybe you are more blessed than others. Maybe God has used you to accomplish great things. Maybe because you are not arrogant and don’t think that you are better than others He has rewarded you but just in case you start to think you are something special, remind yourself that God can speak through a donkey – that by God using you, you are no more special than Balaam’s donkey so don’t go making an ass out of yourself. (I hope my mom doesn’t read the last line; I don’t like the taste of soap)
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. Romans 12:3 (KJV)
For the story of Balaam’s Donkey Numbers 22 (NIV)
For the story of Balaam’s Ass Numbers 22 (KJV)
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