Monday, May 4, 2009

Humility Vs Pride

Humility.... Something we lack here in America these days. Instead we see the opposite all around us, we see pride.

As I began to study the subject of humility, the picture it created was so far removed from what we see that it saddened me. How much more it must sadden our God. He must look down broken hearted on a country that was a gem in His eye, one with much promise to spread and extend the gospel. Only to now find a country full of indulgent and prideful people. Yes, we are materially wealthy, but how are we spiritually?

So how does a people return to humility when they don't even understand what it is anymore? I suppose we must first look at what it means to humble ourselves before God. Then it starts with each person submitting themselves.

Humility- not unfairly glorifying ones own self. It need not include timidity or becoming a wallflower. Instead, it simply requires us to think of our abilities and actions as no greater, and no lesser, than they really are. It mandates us to be completely honest with ourselves.

In the quest to become humble, often, people confuse humility with false modesty. "Oh, that old thing, it's nothing!" When it really was something that we took much time putting together.

So how do we practice humility?

First we give credit where credit is due. We don't try to gain credit for things that are not our, instead we humbly give the credit to the one responsible. When someone compliments you for something you did do, you simply say thank you. Then in your mind give the praise back to God who gave you the abilities you have.

Don't name/experience drop. Building an image of yourself larger than you are is lying to yourself and others. Also, do what’s expected of you without making a big deal about it. Perform service and charity work anonymously, without recognition from others. Don't try to one up others, you should be truly glad for others and there accomplishments. These are some practical things that we can begin to change to take pride from our lives.

Deuteronomy 8:2-3 And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandment or not. So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your father's know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.

God cannot guide a prideful person. If you are to "follow" God, you must humble yourself. Believe me, to have God humble you is not a painless experience. Just like the nation of Israel in the desert we are stiff necked people. It took forty years for God to humble the people in the desert. We are much better off when we just humble ourselves and yield to God instead of Him having to humble us. Do you want to spend forty years in the desert just to learn the lesson of humility?

Psalm 25:9 - The humble He guides in justice, and the humble He teaches His ways.

When we are humble and seeking His ways, He begins to teach us, change us and we love His ways instead of our own. Breaking self pride can be difficult and painful but it is the only way to really be in God's will. If we really want to follow Christ, our pride must go.

Proverbs 29:23 - A mans pride will bring Him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor.

I Timothy 3:6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fell into the same condemnation as the devil.

Pride will bring us low and in humility we will retain honor. God hates pride! Being puffed up with pride we will fall in the same condemnation as the devil. What a strong statement Timothy makes. It was pride that caused Satan to fall from grace. Do we really want that? Is having our own way really worth that? I would say not.

James 4:10 it says humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

I Peter 5:6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.

When we humble ourselves we get lifted up by God himself. We get exalted not by our own means but by His. In due time of course, as scripture points out. It may not be right away, maybe not even in this lifetime. But we are promised that He will exalt us and make us heirs to the Kingdom of God. Isn't that worth our humility now?


Carol said...

Your post is a little short but I will give you my two cents. And I mean two cents. Humility is more important because if you are humble you are full of pride. You don't have to go after it.

Anonymous said...

I love your post. God has been helping me in this area. Everywhere I turn God is talking to me about this issue. Even on your blog :) When he started showing me the pride it was horrifying. I heard a sermon about it being like Satan. Wow! So convicting. I am so thankful for His Amazing Grace who is helping me to have humility one day at a time. At our church we are crying out with repentance to start with us first.

Anonymous said...

My pastor has recently reminded me of this very important subject too. I always think of Jesus, how He came down from Heaven and humbled himself as a human! What love and what awesome example of humility. Jesus reminds us "whoever humbles himself for my sake will be exalted, but who ever exalts himself will be humbled" God bless you! Robin

Jeshurun said...

Humility is the basic trait so that we can see God's fullest blessings n our life.Only the spirit of God can give us true humility!