Ain't Too Proud to Beg

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Wednesday, September 9, 2015 0 comments

by Logan Ames

What are you willing to do for the person, possession, or life goal that you desperately want? How far are you willing to go? Will you risk failure, rejection, and even public humiliation? Every day we see examples, from the comical to the serious, of what people are willing to do to get who or what they want. Recently, a soldier in the United States Marine Corps by the name of Jarrod Haschert (story here) had a desire to escort current UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey to the Marine Corps Ball. He was willing to be the butt of jokes from his peers as he created a video asking her to the dance and then posted and shared it all over social media. His efforts paid off as the video reached Ms. Rousey and she accepted his invitation, even saying she thinks he’s “cute."

From a much more serious standpoint, I recently interviewed a man in one of my investigations at work who wanted to have a relationship with his children but was getting tired of all the hoops that their mother was trying to get him to jump through. This was a man who had committed adultery against his then-wife many years ago, leading to their break up, and she is still very bitter toward him for it. He admitted his sin, but told myself and the detective, “I shouldn’t have to go through all of this just to see my children." While the focus of the investigation was an allegation against him that is separate from what he was addressing, I found myself later telling the detective that I don’t feel sorry for the man and that if he really wants a relationship with his children, he ought to be willing to do whatever it takes. The man couldn’t see it, but his own pride, and not his ex-wife’s actions, is what’s truly stopping him.

The Temptations had a well-known song called “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” in which the character is a man who is willing to beg, plead, and even cry if that is what it takes for him to keep the woman that he loves. It doesn’t matter that others will laugh at him or tell him that a true man doesn’t cry. He is willing to risk humiliation and rejection to show the woman how much she means to him. Not everyone would do this. There are many prideful men and women out there who are unwilling to make themselves vulnerable for fear that they might be seen as weak. If you are one of those people, you have more pride than our heavenly Father.

Our passage for this week shows us a side of our Father we may not often think about or see in Scripture. Romans 10:16-21 shows us the lengths to which he is willing to go to get our attention. Paul tells us that the Israelites have all heard the message of the good news of Jesus Christ, but that not all of them have accepted it through faith (vv. 16-17). This wasn’t the Lord’s fault, as the message went “to the ends of the world” from the time of Israel’s own prophets (v. 18). God made sure through the message of the prophets that Israel heard the good news of the Messiah, but whether they accepted it or not was up to them.

When many of the Jews did not accept the good news, God did not take the attitude that many of us would and say, “Oh well, that’s their problem." Instead, he went to even greater lengths to try to win them over. Paul quotes from several different Old Testament passage to illustrate this point. In Deuteronomy 32:21, God told the Israelites through Moses that he would make them “envious” and “angry” by another nation. The word for “envious” can also be translated as “jealous." Paul uses this verse in Romans 10:19 to show that the message of the good news of Jesus was brought to Gentiles after the Jews didn’t accept it. As the Jews are able to see the joy that the Gentiles have in Christ, they might just be jealous enough to turn back to God to get what the Gentiles already have.

In verses 20-21, Paul quotes from Isaiah 65:1-2 to show that God went and revealed himself to those who weren’t even looking for him, and frankly didn’t know they needed him. In addition, God is pictured as a person standing all day long with his hands out toward people that don’t even care he is there. He is like a beggar, one who looks not for their gifts but for their affections. Even as they are “obstinate,” he continues to wait patiently and show that he is open to them even if they ignore him. These images of the Lord do not suggest a heartless, dominant ruler. Rather, they reveal that the sovereign God and Creator of the entire universe, who has the power and authority to rule with an iron fist when he determines that is necessary, is willing to lower himself to the point of pleading for our attention and even trying to make us jealous. I pray that as you read this you realize how much he loves all people, especially YOU!

If someone in your life resorted to trying to make you jealous or begging for your attention, you might laugh at them and even complain to your friends about their petty behavior. God is willing to risk our rejection in order to woo us toward him. When sinful human beings act this way, there is usually some sort of selfish motive attached to it. We want the attention from someone and we “need” them for what they can do for us. With God, he doesn’t need anything from us. There is no hidden motive. He desires that we would want a relationship with him because he knows that’s what is BEST FOR US. He doesn’t really have to manipulate the situation either. When others turn to him, they will naturally experience the joy, peace, and freedom that is only found in him. If we are experiencing those things in the Lord, they should be contagious and should make others around us jealous enough that they desire the Lord as well.

Have you been angry, frustrated, or jealous lately due to things feeling like they are spinning out of control in your life? Do you find yourself secretly bothered by the joy that others have? Are you internally judging them because they act like things are perfect and they have no issues when you know deep down inside that they do? Consider that God may be trying to get your attention through them. Even if you are already a believer, maybe you’ve been making choices in your life that do not honor God. Rest assured that he most definitely has not given up on you. But if you continue to walk away from him, you can only expect things to get worse. God is not too proud to beg or plead with you, and he’s not too proud to make you jealous. However, the decision ultimately is yours because God truly is a gentlemen who will not force you to love him. Turn to him this day and experience the joy of that relationship that you’ve been desperately missing.

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