Pastor’s Corner: “Beautifully Humble”
Matthew 23:12 (AMP) – 12 Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be raised to honor.
Humble people don’t take offense easily or fight back; they turn the other cheek. And yet their humility is not cowardly, for true humility requires courage. It makes you willing to take a lower place than you deserve, to keep quiet about your merits, and to endure slights, insults, and false accusations for the sake of a higher purpose.
True humility doesn’t make you think less of yourself, it just makes you think of yourself less. You can be confident and humble at the same time. It is confidence in God, not self. When you stay focused on God and helping other people, you naturally think about yourself less.
Peter addresses the subject in these words: “God opposes the proud, but he favors the humble. So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor” (1Pe 5:5-6 NLT). The story’s told of a guy who entered a contest to see who was the most humble. When he won, he was given a badge of merit—but then he wore it and was disqualified! Seriously, pride disqualifies you from enjoying the favor of God.
Pride may seem powerful on the surface, but usually it’s just a sign of weakness and insecurity. Pride refuses to deal with our own sins, and it puts our trust in ourselves, which is never a good place for trust. That’s why we need to remind ourselves regularly: “Everything I am, I owe to God; everything I have, came from God. To Him be all the glory.”
Peter also tells us we should “clothe” ourselves “with humility toward one another” and “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5). It’s hard to hang on to humility. Mine often has a fast-approaching expiration date. But we must, as Peter suggests, strip away our pride and clothe ourselves with a humble attitude if we want to do God’s work in God’s way. And if we don’t, our pride will catch up to us.
Humility is a big deal to God! God makes many promises in the Bible for Christians who will humble themselves. Here are four things God will do in your life when you work on being humble:
If you’re humble, God will guide you. If you don’t know which way to turn—whether to get in or get out, hold on or let go—then get humble. When you humble yourself, God will make your next step clear. You’ll make fewer mistakes in life! “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way” (Psalm 25:9 NIV).
If you’re humble, God will bless you. These promises are all through Scripture, like Isaiah 66:2: “I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts” (NLT). God doesn’t bless egotistic or prideful people or those who secretly think they’re better than everybody else. He blesses the humble.
If you’re humble, God will give you the power to change. The power to change is called grace (God doing for us what we cannot do for ourselves). Maybe there are things in your life you’d like to change. Perhaps you’ve tried to change, but you can’t or you won’t. You need grace! How do you get God’s grace and the power to change? “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6 NLT). Every time you’re prideful, you’re on the opposite side of God—and you don’t want to be there. The humbler you are, the more grace God gives you.
If you’re humble, God will reduce your stress. If you’re prideful, your stress is going to go up. Instead, listen to Jesus: “Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29 NLT). When you’re tapped out and feel like you have nothing left to give, surrender to Jesus. Spend time in the Bible, learning how to choose gentleness and humility by his example. Pray, and ask him for the grace to change. Then you’ll find the rest your soul has been craving.
How do we know if we’re short on humility? Ask yourselves these questions and answer them honestly: Do I always expect others to serve me, or do I seek to serve others? Am I easily hurt and offended, or am I slow to become angry and quick to forgive? Am I impatient, or do I listen to people with empathy and kindness? Am I quick to give pep talks, or do I recognize a wounded heart and offer comfort? Do I strive to succeed no matter the cost to my relationships, or do I embrace the success of others? Do I always have to be in control, or can I rest and accept the input of others?
Humility shows us that God uses imperfect people to fulfill His perfect will (that includes us). Romans 12:3 – For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. Philippians 2:3 – “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” Romans 12:10 – Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.
In His Grace,