Let me begin by saying I’m a little nervous about this month’s topic.
Because every month of doing The Faith Project I’ve not only had opportunities to learn and grow, I’ve had plenty of occasions to practice . . . to live out the discussion.
Let me explain…
I once heard a pastor preach on spiritual warfare say that he’d just come through one of his hardest weeks ever while preparing that message. If we’re going to talk about a subject or ask God to help us grow in a specific area He often has us learn by living it.
It’s part of wrestling with God’s truth.
You can talk about patience, but if you’ve never had to wait you probably don’t get it.
You can share passages from the Bible that give hope, but they will always mean more to someone who has desperately needed hope.
It’s the same with peace, compassion, and forgiveness.
So, I’ll admit it, I’m just a little nervous about starting a month long look at humility.
I don’t think of myself as having a pride problem, but the truth is everyone has a pride problem. The question isn’t if, the question is where we fall on the pride scale.
My favorite quote on humility is:
“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” ~Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life
On a scale of 1 to 10 – If 1 is proud (completely self-focused) and 10 is humble (completely God and others focused) where would you fall.
Proud 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Humble
If you’re like me, you didn’t give yourself a 1 but you didn’t come close to a 10 either.
Are you beginning to understand why I’m a little nervous? I have a feeling I’m about to get some lessons in humility.
Why is it so hard to be humble?
#1 – Pride is generally considered a good thing . . . it’s important to “feel good about yourself” and take care of yourself. If you don’t, no one else will.
#2 – Humility is thought to be passive . . . and weak. Someone who lets other people walk all over them.
Who wants that?
The problem is most people think of pride and humility horizontally—comparing people to people.
But… What is humility?
Humility has to begin vertically.
Humility must begin with God.
And another problem is…
The temptation to make God too small. Making Him who we think He is or who we want Him to be not stopping and allowing ourselves to be overwhelmed with awe by who He really is.
Think about it for a minute – He is:
God of the universe.
Creator of everything. Genesis 1:1
Rescuer of nations. Exodus 13
Splitter of seas. Exodus 14
God of gods and Lord of lords. Deuteronomy 10:17
Eternal God. Psalm 90:1–2
Truth. Proverbs 30:5, John 14:6
He is also – Trinity. Healer. Savior. Life. Love. Just. Righteous. Sovereign. Spirit. Deliverer. Holy. All-knowing. Present everywhere. All-powerful. Faithful. Unchanging. Good. Gracious. All in all. AND so much more.
Admit it, you read all those words but you didn’t stop to fully absorb what they mean. That’s okay. You couldn’t. You can’t. It’s just not possible.
“If God were small enough to be understood, He wouldn’t be big enough to be God.” ~Elizabeth Elliot
In Pride, Humility, & God written for the C. S. Lewis Institute, John Stott wrote:
Pride is the stubborn refusal to let God be God. It is the attempt to dethrone God and enthrone self. Sin is self-deification.
Humility is acknowledging the truth about ourselves, that as creatures we depend on our Creator’s power and as sinners on our Savior’s grace.
Like freedom, love, wisdom, and prayer, humility is about relationship.
Relationship with God
I want to know God more . . . not about Him but Him. I want to sit at His feet with awe and wonder. I want to pay closer attention to what He is doing around me. I want to spend less time thinking about me and more time thinking about Him.
I want to love Him more. I want to praise Him with all my heart.
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty—
the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.”
Whenever the living beings give glory and honor and thanks to the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever), the twenty-four elders fall down and worship the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever). And they lay their crowns before the throne and say,
“You are worthy, O Lord our God,
to receive glory and honor and power.
For You created all things,
and they exist because You created what You pleased.”
Relationship with People
I want to learn more about what it means to live humbly with people and still be a strong, courageous, follower of Jesus. I want to find a better balance between caring for others and caring for me. I want to see what true humility looks like in a society where it is often discouraged.
I want to love God more by loving His people well.
God has chosen you and made you His holy people. He loves you. So you should always clothe yourselves with mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12
I hope you’ll join me. This month is sure to be both challenging and a blessing.
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