lift with your knees

My family moved a good bit growing up.  Two or three years in the same home was a long stay.  As a result, I have done my fair share of hauling boxes, dressers, sofas and otherpieces of furniture in and out of moving vans.  I have carried heavy things and light things and I am well aware of the differences between the two.

When lifting up something light, well, lift however you want. But when lifting something heavy, make sure to lift with your knees!

Once, when helping a friend move a small sofa, I made the assumption that what I was going to be lifting would be light.  I took the “lift however you want” approach.  What I did not know at the time was that this smallish sofa was a sleeper sofa.  Hidden under the cushions and upholstery was a heavy steel frame.  What I thought would be an easy lift and quick move turned into quite a chore. Thanks to my  “however you want” lifting technique, it also turned into a sore back. I should have lifted with my knees.

This morning I read the first couple chapters of 1 Samuel.  In 1 Samuel 2:30 God says to Eli the priest, “I will honor those who honor me, and I will despise those who think lightly of me.” It is pretty incredible to think of God honoring me!  It is also pretty intimidating to think of him despising me.  So what is the difference between these two possible outcomes?

The Hebrew word for “honor” in this passage also carries a connotation of “being weighty.”  This same Hebrew word is actually translated as “heavy” several other places in the Bible. So God will honor (treat as “weighty” or significant) those who understand His “weight,” but those who think “lightly” of Him will be despised (considered worthless or having no value).   The key then is to have an accurate understanding of who God is and to respond accordingly.  God IS “weighty.”  Thinking something is light, when in reality it is heavy, can cause serious problems, and not just when attempting to move a sofa.

We need to properly judge who He is and who we are in relation.  James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”  Again, to be honored or lifted by God is dependant on an accurate assessment who we are and who He is.  When we recognize who He is we will “lift Him up” in our priorities, and in the “weight” we give His word in our lives, and we will lower the significance of our own desires, and our own “wisdom.” When we humble ourselves God does the lifting.  Want God to “lift you up?” Then honor Him and humble yourself. Once again, lift with your knees.

“A man’s pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.”

Proverbs 29:23

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