Most people I think get confused when they are told that they need to be more humble. What they are hearing is that by becoming humble something is lost, they will have to become less than in regards to pride, give up what they want, and in becoming humble will somehow make them weak. On the contrary, humility was the very thing Jesus exemplified when he was taken to the cross. He was not weak, nor was he powerless, or less than, and or even prideful. No, Jesus Christ, our lord and savior was very much in control of his future, and fulfilled scripture by his faith, and ultimate strength by being humble and obedient to God’s will.
This week I want to talk just a little about humility because it is one of the hardest things to practice. I sometimes fall far from this state of mind, and belief, when pushed past my desired limitations. I sometimes lose my since of humility and fall short of what God desires of me in this area. So I felt it important to explain that everyone does, because no one is perfect. It requires a great capacity of love, and honesty of spirit. It takes an extraordinary amount of energy, to dig deep down inside ourselves to find that tiny thread of humility, and then to exercise it. In saying that, it also takes a great amount of courage to find because it requires that we become one with our heart, soul, and our father in heaven. To be completely successful it is a habit, state of mind, force of will, and or even a regimen that is practiced from morning till night, each and every day until our last breath. It is a complete 180 degrees in our attitude, and in how we view life in general. It is as much a skill, as a blessing, and I truly believe that there are people who are blest with this gift of humility, as they make it seem effortless, hiding their daily struggles, and inspiring the rest of us to work harder at it every day. I thank God that he sent his only son Jesus to show us how to be humble, and what it looks like when others are humble towards us.
According to (Matthew 18:4) Jesus said, “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Jesus was addressing his disciples who had asked him a question which I think we all may have wondered about at some point: “Who is the greatest in heaven?” It is human nature to ponder such truly trivial things, but it was perfect for Jesus to respond by calling a child over to him, and with this child, illustrate our attitude, and what is truly required. We as human beings can accomplish miracles, with the right attitude. Paul J. Meyer wrote in his 26 page booklet, Attitude Is Everything! – If you want to succeed above and beyond! “Attitude is a habit of thought. Whenever the Olympics or some other sports competition takes place, we hear incredible tales of people who have changed by overcoming insurmountable odds – gunshots, failures, birth defects, accidents, cancer, and more – to win first place.” (pg. 6)
Humility is looking at your boss after getting chewed out and wishing him or her to have a nice day in return. Or when your child screams out in anger, of how much they hate you for not letting them go somewhere or do something they wanted to do, and simply smiling and reassuring them that, yes even this feeling too will pass with time. Humility is hard to practice, but be warned there is most certainly punishment for not leading a humble life.
(Matthew 18:7) “Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Such things must come, but woe to the man through whom they come!”
This warning is tied to a later chapter in (Matthew 23;12), which reads, “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
(Lost Gospel Q) Q67 “Those who praise themselves will be humbled. Those who humble themselves will be praised.”
Jesus again refers to humility as an attitude, an action, a bold statement that carries with it great reverence, respect, and power.
(Proverbs 16:19) Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.
In (1Peter 5:6), we are promised reward for our humility, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.”
The message is clear; humility is prized, and is rewarded by God. Jesus talked a great deal about those who are humble, and how they will fare much better in the kingdom of heaven. Jesus was well aware of our own human nature and our outright rebellion against taking the high-road, the morally justified path, being considerate, and forgiving of others, and lest we not forget to even loving our enemies. He knew when we transform our words into actions, we then take responsibility of our deeds, which becomes the most powerful part of communication, and the most powerful expression is that of humility.
By simply following Jesus’s many examples of prayer we find the true grace of God, in that prayer is an essential part of being humble. The reason is found with his own journey to Gethsemane, where he prayed to his father in heaven, where the weight of all humanity’s sins was poured out onto him. He could have refused, gotten mad, thrown a fit, and walked away, but he did not. Instead, through all of it, even unto his torture he remained humble. The power he received to accomplish this was through prayer, to be more specific, his mind set in the garden when praying reveals another huge key to humility; the ability to follow by faith.
(Matthew 26:39) Tells us; Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
Jesus was not concerned about his own safety, his own life, or his own wants or needs, but rather the will of his father, our God in heaven. After checking on his disciples a second time, we find that his prayers are still filled with obedience, (Matthew 26:42) He went away a second time and prayed, “My father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
Humility was part of the nature of Jesus which is so evident in his actions while being arrested. He knew that he faced certain death though he remained humble by making the comment found in (Matthew 26:50) “Friends, do what you have come for.”
Even unto the very minute of his death, he remained humble, and was filled with forgiveness, for while on the cross he said, found in, (Luke 23:34) “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Within his humility Jesus paid the debt for our sins, his mission was fulfilled and he knew through this act he reclaimed the keys to the entire universe and saved our immortal souls in the process. He promised that the humble, merciful, and righteous will be first in Gods kingdom and will sit on the right hand of God.
Q11 “Fortunate are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.”
Q12 “Happy are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy. Happy are the pure in heart, for they shall see the face of God. Fortunate are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
These things which matter the most shall be given to those who humble themselves, who are faithful, who pray, and who take action. These things are given to the holy and to the righteous, to the pure of heart. Jesus within his life gave us so much to examine, and to talk about, only when we put his examples into practice will we truly reap the rewards of his humility, and all his labor. Becoming humble is not weak, but strong, it is not being less than, but rather allowing yourself to reach new heights and to attaining higher levels of peace than ever thought possible.
May peace be with you all the days of your life? If you have been moved by this blog I invite you to become a follower, and learn to Listen Faithfully to our Lord Jesus Christ.