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Overboard Blog

Living the extraordinary life of faith!

Filtering by Tag: 1 Peter 5

Be Humble You Arrogant Geek!

Joseph Castaneda



Humility is one of those strange qualities that's a little hard to talk about in Christian circles, and especially if you are talking about yourself. How do you talk about being humble while...being humble?

The problem is that when we think of humility, it's often viewed as one of those "negative" attributes; it's not what you have or do, it's what you aren't supposed to have or do that defines it. You aren't supposed to be proud or arrogant or to think too highly of yourself if you are going to be humble. All of these things are true.

But I think the essence of humility isn't what you are lacking, but rather, what you possess: a proper perspective on your need for God! One of the biblical definitions of the greek word used in 1 Peter 5 is: "To be ranked below others who are honored or rewarded."

When I remember who it is that should be honored for my life, and I keep HIM as the one that is elevated, then I am truly living a humble life. I can't be arrogant or haughty when I'm making it about Jesus and keeping the perspective that He matters most. When I live with this perspective of how much I need God and that my life needs to be about Him, whatever I do brings Him praise (Colossians 3:17).

Then, if I'm speaking in front of thousands, giving a significant boardroom presentation, counseling a friend, cleaning the house, building a skyscraper in the middle of the city, or doing my homework, I am one of HIs humble servants. The trick is keeping "me" in the right place.

After a bunch of amazing weeks of speaking last summer, I was reminded about how much I need God. I can't imagine completing five straight weeks of speaking without His grace! I look back and can see how God showed up at each camp, how He changed lives for eternity, and many campers and staff were compelled to be more humbled before Him because His Word was preached and their lives were changed. I couldn’t do any of that, only God can.

Life can be so difficult and messy, and especially so when you and I become the focus of each day. Let's keep the words of Peter fresh in our minds this week as we seek to keep this life about Him and His glory, so that in our humility He can lift us to where we need to be. My friend Steve Etner often says, "I need to dethrone King Me!" Indeed, lets make sure the right King is in the position of honor in our hearts.

Learning to be Uncomfortable.


A few days back I had this kind of funny thought: “God sure doesn’t want me being too comfortable these days!” With my recent job loss and uncertain housing and work future (although I have some exciting news to share with you on my next blog post...stay tuned!), the desire to be comfortable has certainly been low on the totem pole. I’d take “employed” and “housed” long before I’d take comfortable! In and of itself, comfortable isn’t a bad thing. There are people who believe that true followers of God must be miserably uncomfortable in order to show their esteem for God. Nothing in Scripture would suggest that this is true. However, comfort can become an excuse to not do what God has asked you to do. Neither of these extremes works for someone trying to live the Overboard Life.

While pondering these thoughts, I came across this awesome video by an American made garment company making waves in the fashion industry by selling their self-proclaimed “world’s best” zip-up hoodie for $90. A recent write up on a popular web site shot their product sales thru the roof, and for a short time, sales for a hoodie -- yes, a hoodie -- were back ordered for 5 months! American Giant went to work to increase productivity, find new suppliers and improve their warehouse and shipping efficiency. American Giant understands the dangers of being comfortable. Check out their ad:

This is definitely my idea of comfortable!

This season of discomfort has been good for me. It has reminded me of the things that are important and helped me to reinvest in the habits and patterns that I need in order to achieve what the Lord has put on my heart. Early mornings and late nights are generally not the hours that the comfort-lovers participate in. I’ve been reminded at how important the extra moments of each day are, choosing to spend those spare minutes investing intentionally in relationships, building business partnerships and engaging my wife and kids more often. Discomfort has improved my time management.

Discomfort has also re-fueled my passions. I want to be a person that is driven primarily by values and beliefs, not organizational bureaucracy or  paycheck-driven work. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of working because you get paid, or to belong to something that isn’t value driven but is comfortable or easy. Discomfort has returned a fire in my belly to live/work/play/worship/serve/love/give/dream according to the God-given values that make life worth living: self-sacrifice, contentment, faith, love, belief, forgiveness, trust, generosity etc...

I have also been the recipient of a healthy dose of perspective during this time of upheaval. While trying to navigate what's next for our family, I've been far more aware of the plight of others. My friend Caleb is ministering in the Ukraine, and is experiencing, first hand, the ravages of war (his blog is outstanding, and would be worth your time). All around the world, Christians are being publicly persecuted, beaten and murdered as punishment for their faith. Being jobless and homeless is a big deal, but it has been good for me to keep our journey in perspective.

Finally, this period of discomfort has fired up my desire to create and dream. I think I just came out of a season where I felt creativity was stifled, and where constant turn over created an environment of fear and uncertainty. Fear kills dreams, and stifling creativity forges an environment where creating something new is almost impossible. The level of discomfort God has allowed us to experience has fired up the ol’ dream machine again, and now, more than ever, I’m eager to engage in the creative process of building something new (you really need to read Monday’s blog post!).

I can’t say I’ve become a fan of being uncomfortable, but in a strange way, I’m starting to enjoy the feeling. After all, the Bible reminds us that, ultimately, I'm a sojourner in this world. Still, I’m praying that God will allow us to find a life-rhythm that will allow us to have a place to live, a clear direction for service (part of that prayer is already taking shape...check back on Monday!) and a comfortable level of discomfort (commonly referred to as “Disuncomfort”*) where time is managed well, passions are fueled, perspective is kept and dreams inspire creative growth.

At the end of 1 Peter, the apostle reminds us, “...and after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” Those are great words of encouragement for the imprisoned, the persecuted and for those who’ve had life turned upside-down on them.

Go ahead and take the plunge -- it might be a little uncomfortable, but -- life is always better on the water!

* “Dis” is from the popular early 90s phrase [as in, “I’m going to dis you for treating me like that’] and “un” implying the opposite of whatever is next [as in, “un-cool” or “un-sure”], combine with “comfortable” which means “affording or enjoying contentment and security.” Therefore, disuncomfortable is a proper double negative implying the speaker is dissing not being comfortable. Disuncomfortable is a state-of-mind, and generally only used by those experiencing being uncomfortable but are choosing to enjoy their present circumstances, regardless.