24th Jul 2016
By Andy Jarvis
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Why is it so difficult for us to humble ourselves? Think about it, Adam and Eve wanted to be like God, the builders of Babel wanted to 'make a name for themselves', Nebuchadnezzar built a statue of himself to be worshipped and when Herod was proclaimed 'a god' he didn't deny it. There's an arrogance flaw in human nature. Can we ever hope to humble ourselves as Paul says in Philippians 2:5? Thankfully, as Christians, we have the Spirit of Jesus living in us and His character was to humble himself. He taught the crowds when he was grieving, healed the paralytic when interrupted and died for people when betrayed and denied. Our task is to let His life grow in us, to set our minds to humbling ourselves...
Why we should humble ourselves
- Because Christ was humble and we should imitate him.
· So that God can exalt us as he sees fit. "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you." James 4:10
· Because "God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble" (James 4:6). I don't want God resisting me and I need all the grace I can get.
1. Routinely confess your sin to God (Luke 18:9-14). All of us sin and fall short of the glory of God. Cultivate a routine practice of rigorous self-examination. Weekly, even daily, review your heart and behaviour, making confession to God.
2. Acknowledge your sin to others (James 3:2, 5:16). A true test of willingness to humble ourselves is sharing with others the weaknesses we confess to God. Wisdom says do so with those we trust.
3. Take wrong patiently (1 Peter 3:8-17). When something is unjust we want to react and rectify it. Patiently responding to the unjust accusations and actions of others demonstrates godly character and is an opportunity to put on humility.
4. Actively submit to authority…the good and the bad (1 Peter 2:18). Our culture promotes individualism and devalues submission. Be purposeful and active in submitting to those whom God has placed as authorities in your life.
5. Receive correction from others graciously (Prov 10:17, 12:1). Say "thank you for caring enough to share that, I will pray about it and get back to you." Ask, "Lord, what are you showing me?" Ask others for help, wisdom & prayer.
6. Accept a lowly place (Proverbs 25:6-7). If you want recognition for yourself or your contribution or get offended when others are honoured, then pride is ruling. Support others being recognized. Accept & look for the place of humility.
7. Purposely associate with people of lower state than you (Luke 7:36-9). Our culture is status-conscious. People naturally want to socialize upward. Resist the temptation of being partial to those with status or wealth.
8. Choose to serve others (Philippians 1:1, 2 Corinthians 4:5, Matthew 23:11). When we serve others, we are serving God's purposes in their lives. Doing so reduces focus on ourselves and builds the Kingdom of God. Wash other's feet. When serving costs nothing, it is really servanthood?
9. Be quick to forgive (Matthew 18: 21-35). To forgive is to acknowledge a wrong that has been done us and also to further release our right of repayment for the wrong. Forgiveness is denial of self. It is not insisting on our way and our justice.
10. Cultivate a grateful heart (1 Thess 5:18). Develop an attitude of gratitude for the gift of salvation and the life He has given us. Our perspective of self will be truer. A grateful heart is a humble heart. When others compliment you, thank them & give the glory to God in silent prayer. Your breath, your senses, talents, your physical and mental health are all from God. Don't take them for granted.
11. Purpose to speak well of others (Ephesians 4:31-32). Saying negative things puts others "down" and us "up." Speaking well of others builds them up. Take an interest in them. Rejoice when they are promoted, praised or honoured.
12. Treat pride as a condition that always necessitates embracing the cross (Luke 9:23). It is our nature to be proud and God's nature in us that brings humility. Committing to a lifestyle of daily dying to ourselves and living through Him is the foundation for humility. Nothing is more humbling than the perfect, sinless, Son of God willingly giving his life to rescue us who rebelled against him
13. Contemplate the infinite greatness of God. (Mark 15:39) Consider your innumerable sins against God and the unbelievable mercy he poured out on you.
14. Be quick to listen (James 1:19) and slow to share your own opinions.