Humility

Which do you think is stronger, is less likely to break? An egg, or a ketchup packet? Guess. And you might be right. I’d rather do an egg toss with a ketchup packet than an egg. Yet you can place an egg in the center of your palm, wrap your fingers around it, and squeeze. Apply pressure. You’ll find that it won’t break. Try that with a ketchup packet, and you’re going to need to wash your shirt. Or the shirt of the person across from you.

Sometimes I think of humility as that egg. What people associate as weak and fragile actually has a strong shell that can withstand pressure. Meanwhile that ketchup packet (pride, selfishness, egocentrism) busts under pressure. The world says be durable, be flexible, be like a ketchup packet (ok maybe not that specifically). The Bible says to find strength in humility, drink from the source of eternal life, ground yourself with Christ as the corner stone.

There is a deeper power and strength in humility than in the shallowness of pride.

When the Wesley leaders were praying before Wesley started, we were led to pray, asking God to kill our pride. Kill? I thought. That’s a strong word. It sounded painful. So in my head I imagined pride as this loaf of bread that I would let the Lord wound, one swift slice of the blade. Surely pride can’t be as strong then, wounded. Bettering me, but not hurting me. In effect wounding me, but not healing me. 

Tate mentioned that it’s going to take sacrifice to be humble. It’s not easy. We know it’s not easy because even the angle known as the morning star couldn’t resist the temptation of pride. Isaiah 14:12-15 recognizes the fall of Lucifer. He wanted to lift himself up to be higher and better than God. We see this is where we fall too. Adam and Eve wanting to have the knowledge of God, to be made equal before banished from the garden. (Genesis 3:4-6).

When humility is lacking, sin is crouching at the door.

It is Christ’s humility that becomes our salvation. Philippians 2:5-8 notes that Christ, “Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!”

Humility is the core of who Jesus is. Humility is taking a modest view of one’s own importance. Christ humbled his importance so the Father could be glorified. Christ, who had the power of God and could have exalted himself, chose the Father. His humility was revealed in obedience.

When you humble yourself, it isn’t a matter of discrediting your value as a gifted and loved child of God. It’s putting Christ first. If humility is taking a modest view of one’s self, I believe it is also taking an honorable view of others. Before His death, Jesus washed the disciples’ feet in the last supper.

Although we are descendants of Adam, we also come from Christ. In that we are able to choose how we respond, which soil we dig our roots in.

Does your faith appear boring or dead? To you, or those around you? Those who actively live in humility can’t find themselves in a stagnant faith because it is too big. While they might not be honored, their works are honorable. People feel loved, and God is glorified.

In the book of John, Jesus continually deflects to the Father. Noting himself as less than, least important and lowly when it comes to honoring God.

If you aren’t sure how well you are living humbly, ask those around you. Your friends know if you live humbly. And if that’s not reason enough to ask, 1 John 4:20 says, “If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.” The same thing applies with humility. We cannot be humble towards God when we aren’t humble towards others.

Humility proceeds holiness.

This is seen in Luke 18, when both a Pharisee and tax collector are at the altar. The Pharisee imagines himself to be better than the tax collector, while the tax collector with a bowed head begs for forgiveness. When was the last time you prayed on your knees? You cried out to the Lord?

Sometimes I wonder how people in other countries are Christians. What if they don’t have access to Bob Goff’s new book, or Joyce Meyer’s latest Bible Study? Yet I think if they have a core of humility, if they respond in humble obedience and love, that in itself will be justified more than an intricate knowledge of the Bible.

A couple of significant moments happen in Isaiah 6. One being that it occurs in the year that King Uzziah dies. He receives leprosy after thinking himself holy enough to be in the Lord’s temple because of his title, which later leads to his death. Isaiah meanwhile arrives in a vision, humbly admitting that he is an unclean person. In his confession a seraphim flies down, places a burning coal from the altar on his lips, and declares him holy. One dies from pride and one is made holy in humility.

People ask a lot why we have free will. Yes to choose to love Him, but then why do we forget? Why do we fall short? I don’t know all of the reasons why we have free will, but we do. We can choose to kill the pride in us, take the hit and become beautiful through it. We can choose to be men and women of humility. We can take humility not as a sign of weakness, but as a sign of being transformed by the King.

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