A couple of weeks ago, we talked about humility - what it means to be humble. Today, I want to continue on that topic. A lot of people have the wrong idea of what humility is. They think being humble means you have to let people walk all over you, that you can’t do anything, or that you don’t have anything nice.
Well sure, you can look at yourself as that, but wouldn’t you rather want to know what God says about being humble? After all, His opinion is the only one that really matters. But let’s be honest. Humility of all the virtues is the hardest one to gain and maintain. Why is that? Because we all want to be first, we all want to be seen, and to simply feel that we are important. And the truth is that we can be all of those things, not in ourselves, but in Christ. In and of ourselves we are nothing - but in Christ, we are everything.
So, humility- what is it? Well it’s the opposite of pride. And as you may know, this month of June is pride month, but we’re calling it “humble month”. Pride means to boast, to be high-minded, or in other words, to think of yourself more highly than you ought to. Now, this doesn’t mean that God wants us to have low opinions of ourselves, or not see ourselves with value. Rather, it’s a matter of not having the mindset that we are better than other people.
The reality is, that when we judge or criticize others, it’s the fruit of pride. Pride is the reason you don’t want to apologize when you know you’re in the wrong. It’s the reason you can’t forgive when someone has done you wrong. Luke 14:11 says, “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” When we look at satan, we see that pride is the reason he fell from Heaven. He wanted the glory for himself - wanted everything to be about him. God sure humbled him. This isn’t something that God takes lightly. He hates pride.
Proverbs 16:5 “The Lord detests the proud; they will surely be punished” Every day, when we wake up, we have a choice to make. Are we going to put the spotlight on us or on Jesus? Are we going to glorify ourselves or glorify Jesus? Are we going to give ourselves the honor or Jesus? Humility is saying and understanding that none of this life is about me and my own gain. It is about pointing it all back to God - the One who has given us everything.
The Bible says, whatever we do, let us do it for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). We were created to bring glory to God, and to lift Him up in all that we do. However, too often, we like to shine the light on ourselves and say, “Hey! Look at me! Look what I’ve done! Look what I’ve accomplished!” I’ve realized, in doing that, we rob God of His glory. The word “humble” in Greek means to stay under. The Bible says to “humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, and at the right time He will lift you up in honor” (1 Peter 5:6). When God doesn’t move you to where you think you should be by now, be happy to stay there until He promotes you. We know He works all things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). I’ve found that sometimes, God will give someone else the very thing I was waiting for. This can stir up pride within me, because I think I deserved it more than they did. But God wants us to celebrate others, celebrate the blessings of other people. He has called us to value others above ourselves (Philippians 2:3).
We must remember to humble ourselves with everything that God has given us. Just as the Lord gives, He can also take. We see in Daniel 4, King Nebuchadnezzar praised God for the city of Babylon, but 12 months later, he looked out at the city and claimed it to be by his own mighty power that the beautiful city was built. In an instant, a voice from Heaven called out to him and spoke, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, this message is for you! You are no longer ruler of this kingdom” (Daniel 4:31).
Reading that should give you some reverential fear of what the Lord can do when we become prideful and claim the glory for ourselves. You can read the rest of Daniel 4 to see how King Nebuchadnezzar came back in his right mind and God fully restored him. Pray and ask God to show you every time you’re living out of pride. He looks at the heart and wants us to honor Him in all we do. Don’t grow weary in celebrating the accomplishments and advancements of others. In the right time, the Lord will bless you with what’s meant for you. Praise Him in the waiting and continue to live in humility with what He’s already given.