Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Humility

I remember early on when I became a part of my husband's side of the family, inevitably, when we were all sitting around playing our favorite card game, "Liverpool", someone in the family would get to feeling pretty proud of the hand they were dealt or the score they had up until that point.  My father-in-law would say something like, "Just remember....too much air and that tire will bust." 

He wasn't referring to a real tire, but the prideful and bragging statements someone at the table was making.  He was saying that too much hot air (too much pride) and the tire (the person....the score...the hand dealt) was eventually going to bust! The person with the prideful attitude at the table, would most likely be deflated at some point during the remaining game, and if not that night, for sure some time.

Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor. Proverbs 18:12
Too many times we get a little (or a lot) proud of ourselves, our accomplishments, and our abilities.  We think that we have "pulled ourselves up by our own bootstraps".  We think we have gotten where we are on our own accord.  We believe that we've "made it" because of some big accomplishment.  But God says, "Be humble."  "You can't do anything at all without ME."  "You are who you are because of ME."  "Humble yourselves and I will lift you up in due time."

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10
We live in a world that is obsessed with "ME". It's the SELFIE generation that is so concerned with their own lives and what they are doing, that they hardly have time to think of others.  And when they do, it's not really thinking of others....but what others will think of them. "How many followers do I have? How many likes will this selfie post get? How many people are following my story on SnapChat? How many retweets did I get on that Tweet?"  See the SELF problem?  It's not about the other people.  It's all about ME.  It's all about themselves.
We have a problem.  And it's not just a "them" problem.  It begins with me. It begins in my heart.  I MUST BE HUMBLE.  I must teach my children to be humble.  I must show humility to others.  I must put others first.  I must be more and more like Jesus.
A wise person said this:  "I believe the first test of a truly great man is his humility. I do not mean by humility, doubt of his own power, or hesitation in speaking his opinion. But really great men have a … feeling that the greatness is not in them but through them; that they could not do or be anything else than God made them."
We should strive to live our lives showing that the talents and abilities we may have is because of God. He should get the glory, praise, and honor - not us!  We are only who we are and what we are because of Him. We must get rid of our selfish desires, evil ambitions, and our own self-promoting agendas and humble ourselves before God and before others.
We don't want false humility, though.  When we degrade ourselves, that's a false humility.  When we do that, sometimes we are really only fishing for compliments.  Putting ourselves down and doing so to others, is really still focusing too much on SELF.

We can think of ourselves.  We can realize our gifts, talents and abilities.  But we don't have to tell everyone about them.  And when people notice those things, we can point them to God and Jesus...not to ourselves.  Give Him the praise for those things.

How can you be more humble today? What do you need to give up to be less prideful?  When have you taken credit for something when you should have given all of the glory to God?  Be humble.

He has shown you, O mortal, 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

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