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Humility


Written by Seth Barnes


 

I've watched those who look a lot like Jesus to me, and those who are, in John Eldredge's words, just "posers." I suppose there are a lot reasons for the difference between the two groups. Two of the most fundamental factors are a hunger for more of God and a basic humility. Here's a great quote from "The Seeking Heart" by Fenelon: "The most important thing is humility. Humility gives you a teachable spirit that makes everything easier."

Consider the life of Jesus. He was born in a stable. He had to flee to Egypt. He worked 30 years in the shop of a craftsman. He suffered hunger, thirst and fatigue. He was poor and He was ridiculed. He taught the doctrine of heaven and no one listened to him. He was treated like a slave, betrayed, and died between two thieves. Jesus' life was full of humiliation, but we are horrified by the slightest humiliation.

How do you expect to know Jesus if you do not see Him where He was found: in suffering and the cross. You must imitate Him. But do not think you can follow Him in your own strength - you are going to have to find all your strength in Him. Remember that Jesus wants to feel all your weaknesses.

That runs counter to everything society seems to teach us. Richard Rohr distinguishes between the false self and the true self. Those who don't need to defend themselves, who don't struggle with identity crises, who have found the secret of contentment, have come to peace with who they really are. To become like Christ, we need to find ways to humble ourselves. By serving others, by putting the needs of others first, we posture ourselves to grow, and paradoxically to begin discovering the secret of abundant living.

 

 

 

Humility ....(take 2)

By Paul J. Bucknell

 

The scriptures command us to humble ourselves. There is an obvious underlying assumption. We all reek with pride.

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God..." (1 Peter 5:6).

It is like standing on a cliff looking across the valley far below and hearing God tell us to keep going. The valley was made for us to cross it, but it is such a long way down! Most people decide not to cross. They, like Nebuchadnezzar, refuse to listen to God's warning and choose to persist in their pride instead. For Nebuchadnezzar, it was only twelve months later when God confronted him and tossed him from earth's highest cliff to its lowest abyss. For seven years, he lived as a beast (Daniel 4).

Numerous leaders, fathers, mothers and an endless stream of children have fallen into adulterous and materialistic sins. God has warned each one of them to humble themselves. But each one of them stubbornly resists to take the steps down to humility. They think far too much of their position in life, their self-gratification of desires and confidence in their wealth. They only need time before they fall over the cliff. That is a hard way to meet humility.

Only the brave and discerning ones dare to look at their lives from God's perspective. The steps down are steep, but one can carefully descend. We all know the quick way down, but, by God's grace, have assessed that the damage would exceed the time saved! Humbling oneself is much like the careful manipulation of one's feet so he does not plunge down into the steep canyon.

If we choose to humble ourselves with God's help, we can carefully descend. But if we harden ourselves, the scriptures say that the path of the proud ends in a fall. So why push God to send us over a cliff? Why not deliberately humble ourselves and go down that valley on our own?! This is what the scriptures exhort us to do. This is, after all, the path of Christ Jesus. The most high and excellent One came to earth and died a death for the sake of others in obedience to His Father.

Humility, though neglected, stands as one of the foundational teachings for having a growing and fruitful Christian life. In a real sense humility holds the secret for growth, wisdom, perseverance, blessing, salvation, and wonderful relationships. I have lived long as a Christian and heard so little emphasis placed on the importance humility plays in our Christian lives. Jesus placed great emphasis on humility.

Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:4).

We do not naturally seek the path of humility. But if we seek to be successful or great, then our training must include a number of hikes on the trail of humility. God does not take a man to great heights without first walking him through the darkness of the valley. Our pathway has been beautifully carved out by the glorious and gracious Lord Jesus Christ.

We have encouraged many people to grow in Christ but rarely, if at all, have we ever heard anyone teach that we should pursue humility. For the first time, I heard a pastor last year, sharing a list of ways to pursue humility. I encourage each one of you to pursue humility that we might be more like Christ.






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