There’s a nasty little habit that I’ve acquired over the years, and I’ve noticed that others are guilty of it. It’s called “dumbing down,” and just in case you don’t know what it means, it’s when a person downplays his or her accomplishments, culture, or “smarts” in an attempt to either help people to understand something or just to help make them feel more comfortable. For some reason, I’ve done it quite naturally. Being around prideful, arrogant and boastful people is no fun and just downright annoying, aggravating, and infuriating. People who think more than they should of themselves are plentiful. So, when we attempt to appear humble by lessening ourselves to make others feel better, we also risk becoming equally distasteful. Making self-deprecating comments and diminishing achievements, and just dumbing down things that God has blessed us with to make others comfortable can block opportunities to glorify God, encourage others and may even stifle our blessings.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Dumbing down subject matter to help others understand certain subject matter can be quite helpful. If we’re not ashamed, most of us have probably at least flipped through one of the books in the For Dummies series. (I have Potty Training for Dummies, which, by the way, did not help, and there are a couple of software books that apparently aren’t dumbed down enough for me.)
On the other hand, the type of dumbing down I’m referring to is when we diminish ourselves to make others and ourselves feel comfortable and to fit in. God hasn’t called us to a life of comfort. He has called us to bring His name glorify. We can glorify Him when we testify about God’s goodness in our lives. We glorify Him when we show our thankfulness for the blessings, just like we glorify Him when we go through trials.
As long as we are bringing the glory to Him and not bragging or boasting in ourselves, we should tell how He’s blessed us! How do we know what to say to whom? It’s not complicated. The Holy Spirit will guide us and prompt us with what to say and when (and to whom). When we’re sensitive to His Spirit, we will know when to be quiet. When I think of the ministry of Jesus, I think of how he used parables to help the people understand spiritual concepts. He met the people where they were but never denied who He was or that He was the King.
The Sadducees and Pharisees had false humility. They said long prayers and did a lot of religious rituals, but didn’t recognize the Living Word. They looked like they were humble, but were quite the opposite. Ultimately, they brought attention to themselves, not to God.
When God has brought us through so much, and He’s blessed us in all the ways He’s blessed us—when His Spirit prompts, we can’t be afraid to tell what He’s done for us. We shouldn’t dumb down what God has done, but bring attention to it! Some people will despise you for it. Remember when David danced before the Lord and Michal despised him for doing so in 2 Samuel? David didn’t let that stop him from giving God glory for the things He had done! Some won’t like it, but some will continue to trust Him and be encouraged because of what He’s done for you!
“Rejoice with those that do rejoice” (Romans 12:15a).
Rejoicing with you,