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Being Humble: humility and Pride

Humble, not Proud: A Biblical series on Humility

“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD
require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with
your God.” Micah 6:8

“Walk humbly before your God.” What does it mean to be humble?


Being humble is the opposite of being proud. Pride says “I have done it all
myself.” Humility says “Every good gift I have was given to me by God.”
Pride says “I am the king of the world.” Humility says “Jesus Christ is King
of Kings and Lord of Lords and I am His servant.”
Pride says “I am the best.” Humility says “Let me prefer others above
myself and give to others.” Pride and selfishness say “It is all about me.”
Humility says “My time on earth is short; let God love others through me.”
Pride says “What has been given to me is all for me to use and enjoy.”
Humility and love say “What has been given to me is for me to bless others
as well as to enjoy.”
It is not easy being humble. The Bible says, “Your attitude should be the
same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not
consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself
nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became
obedient to death — even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted Him to
the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at
the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under
the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of
God the Father.” Philippians 2:5 - 11

Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the


kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:4).

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God..." (1 Peter


5:6).
Humility is accepting ourselves as we really are before God.

Purpose of this study on humility:

* That we may bring the greatest amount of glory to God as possible;


* That we may joyfully serve our fellow man with all diligence.
* That we may keep from stumbling because of pride.
* That we may have the greatest joy in serving God.

The Secret of Humility

If we know the secret of humility, we will be able to joyfully grow. When


our path enters suffering, we will be able to accept it. When touched with
suffering, we will not doubt God's genuine care for us.

The scriptures speak so clearly of this principle.

Humility is the path of growth; it is the beginning of life. A person is born


helpless; this is when he can grow. Once he is big, he does not grow. It is the
little child that Jesus told us to imitate, not the adult (Matthew 18:3).

"Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you
shall not enter the kingdom of heaven."

Jesus again spoke of entering the kingdom in Matthew 5:3,

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Circumstances in life are designed to humble us, not crush us. They are
experiences that shape us so that we may taste and have life to the fullest.
We look at such experiences as threats to our success, but they are the path
to true success.

Let's take the example of the student. If he thinks himself knowledgeable,


then he will learn very little. He has no eagerness to accept new knowledge.
The humble man is not so. He is there to learn. He rightly discerns his need
for knowledge and understanding.

When pride comes, then comes dishonor, but with the humble is wisdom."
Proverbs 11:2
The Lord calls for us to purposely humble ourselves before God. If we
humble ourselves, then we need to go through less difficult circumstances to
sharpen our lives.

"I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other;
for everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles
himself shall be exalted." Luke 18:14
With this secret in our minds, we will take a whole different look upon
leadership, servanthood, temptation, discipleship, etc. It seems there is no
worthy discussion that humility is not part of. The world cannot understand
it.

John, the Baptist, discerned it quite well. He encapsulated this secret in just a
few words saying in John 3:30, "He must increase, but I must decrease."

God illustrates this truth in nature all around us. We are literally surrounded
by the 'humbling' principle but the world knows nothing of it. Seeds need to
descend from their lofty and glorious setting only to be miserably buried in
the mud. It is only then, does new life become evident. We have a winter of
souls too. God's humbling of our soul is part of His good plan for our lives.
Let's see how Jesus modeled this for us.

The Portrait of the Humble Servant Jesus

Isaiah 53

The inspirational example of Jesus Christ from Isaiah 53 challenges each


one of us to humbly pick up the cross and follow Him.
We only need to meditate a bit on this five stanza prophecy to better
understand what Jesus was modeling for us. He descended from on high to
suffer for us so that we, with Him, could reign on high. If the perfect would
humble himself for the imperfect, how much more should we humble
ourselves and serve others.
Jesus is portrayed as a willing servant who died for
others because someone else wished Him to do so.
Quietly and humbly He went to the cross for the sin of
many. His death justified these many people, giving
these wayward ones the right to become the children
of God. Let's give thanks for God's grace!!!

Look in Scripture for promises given to the humble.

2 Chronicles 12:7

And when the LORD saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the
LORD came to Shemaiah, saying, "They have humbled themselves so I will
not destroy them, but I will grant them some [measure] of deliverance, and
My wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by means of Shishak.

2 Chronicles 32:26

However, Hezekiah humbled the pride of his heart, both he and the
inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD did not come on
them in the days of Hezekiah.

2 Chronicles 34:27

"Because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before God,
when you heard His words against this place and against its inhabitants, and
[because] you humbled yourself before Me, tore your clothes, and wept
before Me, I truly have heard you," declares the LORD

Psalm 37:11

But the humble will inherit the land, And will delight themselves in
abundant prosperity. (see Matthew 5:5)

Proverbs 15:33

The fear of the LORD is the instruction for wisdom, And before honor
[comes] humility.
Proverbs 22:4

The reward of humility [and] the fear of the LORD Are riches, honor and
life.

Proverbs 29:23

A man's pride will bring him low, But a humble spirit will obtain honor.

Matthew 23:12

"And whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles


himself shall be exalted.

1 Peter 5:6

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may
exalt you at the proper time.

Humility & Rewards

Is it okay to seek for rewards in life?


The whole Suffering Servant section in Isaiah 52:13 to 53 starts off with a
strong pronouncement of His great reward. We can only suppose that this
became a motivating factor for the Messiah. Would He die if there was no
reward? Would He suffer if the captives were not set free? The very first
words mentioned are all about reward. The last section further elaborates on
what was earlier brought up.

Jesus in John 14:2 says, "...if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go
to prepare a place for you." The Lord's intent, at the end age, for His
children is to bless and reward His faithful children. The test of sonship is
confirmed by our humble service and rewarded with great fanfare.

All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them
and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they
were strangers and exiles on the earth. Therefore God is not ashamed to be
called their God; for He has prepared a city for them. (Hebrews 11:13-16).
The theme of reward is scattered throughout the scriptures including the
famous Isaiah 53. They affirm that those being humbled are not aimlessly
being troubled, but that God is working out a better plan. We must
remember to first embrace what we might meet on that humble path that
God has designed for us but always remember that one day the burden of
humility and suffering will be removed. We will then be crowned with God's
revealed presence and receive other things that He has prepared for us.

Five Kinds of Humility

1- Humility from sickness

"This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of
God may be glorified by it." (John 11:4).

The humbling due to sickness is a blessing. Of late, when I get sick, I start
paying more attention to the lessons God is teaching me rather than the
disruption to my life's schedule. Instead of having lingering doubt about
God's love for me, bright inspirations of faith shine through all the misery.

2 - Humility from sin

Bear one another's burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone
thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each
one examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in
regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another.

Humility enables us to find correction before the Day of Judgment.


Although we might lose face, position and wealth, we are far better off from
the humble lessons of the present than future exposure. If we are humbled by
our sin now, then because of Christ's divine grace, we need not suffer shame
then. We can hide our sin in Christ. Self-examination is a long lost discipline
for keeping both our churches and selves free from sin's contamination. 2
Cor 13:5 says,

"Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do


you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you-- unless
indeed you fail the test?"

3 - Humility from design


There are seasons of quietness in our lives. God builds them in for our
benefit.

Our age is anything but quiet. Note how Isaiah captures this same scene
of the wicked in three significant places (Isaiah 48:22; 57:21; 66:24)

"There is no peace for the wicked," says the LORD. (Isaiah 48:22).
"There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked." (Isaiah 57:21).
"Then they shall go forth and look On the corpses of the men Who have
transgressed against Me. For their worm shall not die, And their fire shall
not be quenched; And they shall be an abhorrence to all mankind." (Isaiah
66:24).

Humility has its purpose of revealing hidden things so that we can be


better trained and prepared for the future.

4 - Humility from persecution

Persecution humbles our lives.

"Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”Blessed are you when men cast insults
at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on
account of Me. "Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for
so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:10-12).

In persecution, those things which we count most precious on earth are


stripped away from us not much like they ripped away Jesus' clothes
before the crucifixion. Our homes, wealth, possessions, security, friends,
and reputation (framed). God even allows others to exploit the families,
bodies, sexual parts, etc. of His people. We sometimes try to avoid the
issue of God in times of persecution, but indeed this is when we need
Him most. This is when He is nearest.

The purpose of the Book of Revelation is to prepare God's people for the
tribulation not to escape it (2). The book is to strengthen our confidence in
His control of all things even though it doesn't seem apparent that He does.
Through this series, God gives us the necessary faith to gloriously persevere.
Life is seen with the light of eternity. Please note the important lessons we
find in this following passage.
And when He broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of
those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the
testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice,
saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, wilt Thou refrain from judging
and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" And there was
given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest
for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and
their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, should be
completed also. And I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a
great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and
the whole moon became like blood; (Revelation 6:9-12).

God selected a number of His children to go through the difficult waters of


martyrdom. The holding back of judgment is to bring the greatest blessings
to His people. He has not made a mistake. Persecution brings greater
blessing through the lessons of humility. God is bringing a greater glory into
our lives through the humility just as He did with His own Son. In a real
sense, these martyrs share in His death and suffering. "And if children, heirs
also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him
in order that we may also be glorified with Him." (Romans 8:17).

5 - Humility from death

The humbling aspect of death is to realize that a place in the ground is


being carved out for us, or perhaps even more humbling, our ashes will
be dispersed in the air. "From dust to dust."

All our achievements will one day soon be over.

John the Baptist could so easily step down from his wonderful role by
understanding that all that we have is not from our selves but from God.

John answered and said, "A man can receive nothing, unless it has been
given him from heaven. (John 3:27).

Death can awaken us to our eternal call. It calls us to leave our worldly
pursuits. If we can appreciate the humbling of our minds and bodies in the
sunset of death, then we can prosper in the age to come. The sooner we learn
this principle, the wiser we will be. Moses, speaks so clearly of this in Psalm
90.
For all our days have declined in Thy fury; We have finished our years like a
sigh. As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, Or if due to
strength, eighty years, Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; For soon it is
gone and we fly away. (Psalms 90:9-10).

Jesus, the Pioneer of Humility

Philippians 2:3-11

Jesus Christ showed the pathway to humility.

Paul in Philippians 2:3-11 give Christians three reasons why we should


be humble in mind.

A. The Exhortation of the Apostle Paul (2:3-4)

"Do Nothing from selfishness or empty conceit" (2:3)

"...With humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more
important than himself" (Philippians 2:3).

B. The Exemplification of Jesus Christ (2:5-8)

In this passage, we see Jesus Christ, our Master, take three steps down. We,
as His disciples, are to possess this same spirit. "Have this attitude in
yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus," (Philippians 2:5). We are not to
take the same steps, but possess the attitude which will in our own lives lead
to some difficult steps.

STEP #1 Gave up His right to glory (Phil 2:6-7a)

We can see this glory in Isaiah 45:5-8.

STEP #2 Took on the form of a man, a creature (Phil 2:7b-8a)

We can see this contrast in Isaiah 45:9-10.


STEP #3 In His righteousness, He voluntarily died the death of a cursed
man. (Phil 2:8)

We can see this ultimate humbling in Isaiah 53:4-7.

Conclusion
Is not Jesus' example a good enough reason to be humble in mind especially
when it is for you His people He denied Himself for?

"Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My
disciple. (Luke 14:27).

C. The Encouragement of the Exaltation Principle (2:9-11)

This 'exaltation principle' is regularly repeated and exemplified throughout


the scriptures.

For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles
himself shall be exalted. (Luke 14:11).

It is better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, Than to divide the spoil
with the proud. (Proverbs 16:19).

Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD; Assuredly,


he will not be unpunished. (Proverbs 16:5).

For He who requires blood remembers them; He does not forget the cry of
the afflicted. (Psalms 9:12).

Conclusion
No matter what your situation, ask for forgiveness for your pride. Do
good to others knowing that you will be lifted up in the end. If you
choose to be exalted now, you will soon be crushed. Choose humility and
let Him in His time lift you up.

Humility and Leadership


• Pride harms our relationship with God
• Pride cuts us off from the blessings of God
• Pride robs glory from God
• Pride gives us false security
• Pride harms our relationship with others

And hearing this, the ten became indignant with the two brothers. But
Jesus called them to Himself, and said, "You know that the rulers of the
Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over
them.”It is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great
among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among
you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be
served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." (Matthew
20:24-28)

Dying to Self

The Power of Christian Living


Brief study on Romans 6-8

For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that
He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin,
but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your
mortal body that you should obey its lusts, (Romans 6:10-12)

We are to see the glorious work of the Spirit in contrast to the flesh. By
seeing their contrasting ways, we hate one and love the other. We refuse
to serve our own self's preferences and become wholly loyal to the Holy
Spirit's work in our lives.

Christian life is based on humble living. When we are willing to humble


ourselves by looking at the facts of what self-service does, then we are
willing to walk in that path.
Learning from Moses

A Most Humble Man on Earth


Psalm 90

We have a lot to learn from Moses. Moses had been so close to God. He was
known for his humility.

"Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on
the face of the earth." (Numbers 12:3)

Moses started high in the Egyptian palace and descended to the desert with
God. He exchanged heaven for earth. If we adopt his perspectives, then we
will gain humility and wisdom.

21 Practical Steps in Seeking Humility and Countering Pride

Let not the foot of pride come upon me. (Psalm 36:11)

1 ) Purposely seek humility.


2 ) Confess your sins to God and others quickly.
3 ) Keep a spiritual journal, daily if possible.
4 ) Have a good spiritual partner.
5 ) Start praising others.
6 ) Carefully listen to others when they are going through humbling
times.
7 ) Live as if you cannot live without those near you.
8 ) Don't criticize others as if you haven't sinned
9 ) Thank God for sickness
10) Accept the fact that God can accomplish His plan without us
11) Accept death's limitation
12) We will soon be forgotten.
13) All given from above
14) Spiritual gifts are distributed by the Spirit
15) Plead for daily grace and favor
16) Get closer to God
17) Study God's Word
18) Check our fervency level
19) Examine yourselves
20) Fast
21) Pray for God's double blessings on those around you.

Posted in scribd by viviansteven