Living Humble Not Proud - Various
If we are honest we struggle with this.Ben Franklin admitted his struggle with pride. Listed 12 virtues. Quaker friend suggested humility.
There is, perhaps, no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive, and will every now and then peep out and show itself; ...for, even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility.
The Bible has a LOT to say about humility. Let's start here:
"As God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." Colossians 3:12 NIV
These are all virtues that don't come naturally, especially humility. The Bible tells us that we have to clothe ourselves. "Put On." The outer layer. (1) Remember. (2) Cover up. (3) Ok NOT to be transparent. (4) Try/effort.
What is humility? It's not putting yourself down. Not assuming worst comparisons of yourself verses others. Not low self esteem. Realizing that YOU aren't center of the universe. Everything doesn't revolve around you. But around God. When we assume everything revolves around us we take on the role of God. Easier to be our true selves with true humility. It's serving others in every position we're in. Even leaders serve!
6 Reasons Why I Want To Live With Humility:
#1 - So God will be ____________________ .
Do you want God to favor you? Then work on your humility. 3x Bible says God shows favor...
"The Lord mocks proud mockers but shows favor to the humble and oppressed." Proverbs 3:34 NIV
We've said you can't outliveGod, but you also can't outmock Him! You think you have reason to be proud? Wait until you're in front of God!
"All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because 'God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.'" 1 Peter 5:5 NIV
A repeat of 2 things. (1) God shows favor. (2) Clothe yourselves. Have you considered that the virtues you wear are more important than the clothes you wear? When you get dressed in the morning, you decide what clothing you will put on. Peter is affirming that choosing to dress yourself with humility every morning is even more important!
#2 - So God will _____________________ .
God is a better lifter than we!
“God gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: 'God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.' Submit yourselves, then, to God. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” James 4:6-7a, 10 NIV
(1) Note again the repeat of God favors! (2) Those of us who are proud, brag on ourselves. Ask yourself: Who would you rather have bragging?
Two Harvard neuroscientists (2012) have discovered that talking about ourselves gives us the same pleasure as intimacy and food!
Why we do it? We want to feel valued / important. Let God give that to you! Bragging is poor compliment! But when others compliment, humble to say "thanks"
#3 - So God will ________________________ .
"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV
Humility is important part of prayer life. Humble myself in this context literally means a comparison of myself with God's holiness. What happens when we "seek His face." Right position/attitude before God.
Jesus affirms in His teaching:
“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' I tell you that this man, rather than the other went home justified before God, For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Luke 18:13-14 NIV
Consider that this means God doesn't hear the one with the right religion/ theology. It's not a matter of correct faith as much as correct humility!
#4 - So I will ____________________ to handle challenging situations.
The Bible teaches us over and over again about the connection between humility and wisdom. Here are 3 examples (many more!)
"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom." Proverbs 11:2 NIV
“The way of fools seem right to them, but the wise listen to advice.” Proverbs 12:15 NIV
“God guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.” Psalm 25:9 NIV
Wisdom is applied knowledge. It's not smarts and it's not knowledge itself. Lots of smart people are foolish - not wise! And it's not a matter of knowing more. Wisdom is knowing what to do in any given situation. It's matching what you know with what's happening - especially in tough circumstances. Why? Because with humility, we have the ability to seek help / advice both from God and other people. With humility we can admit we don't know what to do and we need help.
#5 - So my relationships will be _____________________ .
What is harmony in music? Isn't it the blending of differences in a pleasing way?
"Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited." Romans 12:16 NIV
In music, we might say "don't sing too loudly" but also "not too softly!" Listen to others. Match your voices. It's the same with living harmonious. We don't live in such a way that we consider ourselves better or worse.
“In humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others. In your relationships have the same mindset as Christ." Philippians 2:3-5 NIV
How do we accomplish humility when our natural inclination is to think of ourselves higher than someone else? To purposefully, with intention, value others more highly. This is the classic golden rule. With purpose, with intention to think of how we would like to be treated and then do that with others. We intentionally think of the interests of others. (We naturally do that with ourselves. We don't have to try to be selfish, but we do have to try to think of the interests of others.) This is such an important key to relationships. When others know how much you care about them, they will want to be around you!!!
#6 - Because it's the true ____________________ .
"For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory." Psalm 149:4 NIV
In 2011 Charlie Sheen redefined #winning after losing his job on 2 1/2 Men. Time Magazine put it this way: "participating in an ostensibly drug-induced, highly public flameout, during which one loses an incredibly lucrative job and, subsequently, the respect of the American people."
In other words self-proclamations of #winning is a lot closer to losing! If you doubt this, go on web and search for #winning on Instagram - 15 million posts! Most don't look very victorious! If you want real victory, real winning means humility and then allowing God to give you the victory, to brag on you, to give you the hashtag, #winning!. Let God delight in you!
Conclusion: Humility is not low self-esteem. It is correct self-esteem. God is the standard, not others. Each day we must be intentional about our correct position via God/others. Then let God lift us up!