The Gospel remains crystal clear when it boils down to humility. However, the majority of people who regard themselves as followers of Christ battle pride publicly and secretly every day. Today, let's discuss how to combat pride through the act of humbling ourselves.
pride noun \ˈprīd\
: a feeling that you are more important or better than other people
Throughout the length of the New Testament, we are not told to be humble, but rather to "humble yourselves." The difference here is that being humble means to act humbly when deemed necessary; while, humbling yourselves becomes a daily habit, or way of living, in which we must ask God for far more than the ability to act humbly. Satan loves to tempt us by using pride as a silent killer of humility. However, we must pray that God would grant us the eyes to see, the ears to hear, and the hearts to understand and, furthermore, discern when pride has taken root in our lives.
The Gospel teaches, with Jesus' example being the perfect picture, that humility is expected of all Christians. In fact, I have faith that all, believer and non-believer alike, will face humility one day. When it comes down to pride and humility, we have two choices, essentially: to be humble, or to be humbled.
While we love to talk about boldness, courage, and confidence, very few people enjoy discussing the topic of humility. For pete's sake, the word just sounds like you are trying to say "humiliation!" However, humility is nothing to scoff at or be afraid of. Ultimately, the cross and the empty tomb that Jesus left behind renders us, sinners, as responsible to live humble lives. Furthermore, there is not an ounce of our own-doing that makes us deserving of God's redemptive love and grace.
With this in mind, I want to share three ways to actively humble yourself each day in order to remain obedient to what God has already asked of us.
hu·mil·i·ty noun \hyü-ˈmi-lə-tē, yü-\
: the quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people
1. Believe that God is greater than yourself.
This may seem like a pretty boring command, but how often do we try and control areas of our life as if we are our own master? I love what the apostle Paul had to say about this in his letter to the Galatians:
"I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).
Once we can rise in the morning with our minds set first on Christ, then, we will come to see that the power we have in us is so small compared to the strength God can expend through us, if we make ourselves available to him.
Tip: Study things like nature, biology, anatomy, and astronomy. God intricately designed even the tiny human cell all the way up to the entire universe by simply saying for it to be so. The great outdoors always points me back to how great our God is.
Promise to claim: It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.
2. Know your identity and worth in Christ.
Far too many of us mix up pride with self-worth. Though women may perceive this to be an issue that only they struggle with, I can promise you that men are very concerned with who they are. In fact, if I could speak for the men I disciple and am discipled by, the strongest temptation that we battle, and this may surprise you, is not lust, but pride.
God designed men with the natural inclination to lead as the macho do-it-yourself, no-directions-necessary kind of guy. As a man, we must lay down this pride and humble ourselves. As a woman, you can pray for the significant man or male friends in your life to surrender this hardness of heart over to God. Don't stop there though! Pray that God would mend his heart to be led towards serving others in any position of leadership.
For the lovely ladies, pride typically comes in the shape of identity. God designed women as beautiful creatures who need to be loved, adored, and given attention every second of the day. Trust me. I live in a house with two lovely women and have been dating my beautiful girlfriend long enough to know that all it takes is one compliment gone wrong to completely ruin their day. While most men will jump to the conclusion that women are just too sensitive, we must respect the gentle heart that God gave them.
To address the issue of self-worth for women, know this: outward beauty fades, but the beauty of a pure heart lasts forever. No guy that loves you for your body but neglects your heart or feelings or emotions is worth your time.
Promise to Claim: Male or female, tall or short, big or small, black or white, all that matters is this: I am a child of the one, true King, and nothing can change that once I have surrendered my life to him.
3. Treat others as better than yourself.
The apostle Paul clearly revealed this command to us in his letter to the church at Philippi:
"Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves." (Philippians 2:3)
It takes a bold amount of humility to consider other people as more significant than yourself. To disregard salaries, careers, relationships, and possessions in order to view other people as more important than yourself means to display the love of Christ, which surpasses all things and cannot be separated.
The apostle Paul didn't stop there. He continued:
"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." (Philippians 2:5-8)
Because of God's grace, we have the ability to possess this humble mindset, in Christ, because of his life, death, and resurrection. All the more reason to humble ourselves and bring glory & praise to his name!
Promise to Claim: I'm just a nobody trying to tell everybody, about somebody, who can save anybody.