As we begin the New Year, I was reflecting on all the things that we have learned together as a small church plant at KeyStone. One of the hardest lessons I believe is the Lesson of Humility.
Humility, contrary to what many think, is not the living a life like Eeyore the donkey on Winnie the Pooh, wandering around with a down in the dumps attitude looking for his tail. But rather true humility is understanding and knowing your true identity in Jesus.
This is tough for us as recovering Pharisees, we were always taught that, “…no one should think of themselves more highly than they ought…” yes this is true, however, in context, Paul is really saying that we shouldn’t want to be something that we are not! True humility is being exactly who God created us to be. In contrast, Pride is trying to be someone that we are not created to be. Think about it, Satan said he was going to ascend to the throne that was not his, do a job that wasn’t his, and be someone that he couldn’t be. Pride is what got him kicked out of heaven. Pride is being something you are not created to be! And Pride always comes before a fall.
Here are a couple of truths from our teaching in the context of humility being the second Pillar of Wisdom:
“True Humility is knowing what you do not know, its a true genius that admits he knows nothing”~Albert Einstein
“True Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less”~ C.S. Lewis
“True Humility does not know that it is humble. If it did, it would be proud from the contemplation of so fine a virtue”~ Martin Luther
“Humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in due season he will lift you up in honor”~ 1 Peter 5:6
1.We always think that humility is some act of self deprivation. In reality humility is understanding our correct position in God:
“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,” Ephesians 2:6
When we understand that we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, then we can have a handle on what true humility means. Jesus became sin for us so that we no longer are bound to sin, but can now operate in the freedom that His salvation brings.
2. We have a self-responsibility to be humble:
1 Peter 5:6 “Humble yourselves...”
James 4:10 “Humble yourselves before God, resist the Devil and he will flee from you.”
It is our responsibility to stay in a place of humility. We can’t by some means of osmosis lay our heads on the Bible and expect it to transform our lives, no more than we can expect to be people of humility by not practicing it every day. It is a discipline that requires us to constantly be reminded of who we are in Christ Jesus. Remember what Jesus said,
“I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.” John 15:15
Being people of Christ is more than a label, it is an identity. Being part of the family of God is more that being a number or a member at a church, it is literally being the Church wherever we go. It is recognizing Whose we are, and where our true identity lies.
How do we Humble ourselves then?
1. I know this is redundant but: Recognize your real identity in Jesus
A person of true humility doesn’t have to be someone they are not
Pride is False Identity
False Humility is trying to imitate someone else’s identity, it is trying to bring unwarranted attention to yourself because of your lack of knowledge of who you really are
2. Take Responsibility
Stop blaming others for our own lack of identity. Forgive those that have wounded you, it sets you free!
I know this seems simple, but the best way to stay humble is to constantly admit our need on our Savior. Prayer reminds us of this. Since God already knows what we need before we pray it, why would He tell us to pray without ceasing? It is to constantly remind us of our absolute need for Him.
This is getting a little long, so I will wrap it up with some benefits of living a humble life:
Proverbs 3:34 “The Lord mocks the mockers, but gives grace to the humble”
2. Riches, honor, and a long life
Proverbs 22:4 “True humility and fear of the Lord lead to riches, honor, and long life.”
3. The enemy must flee
James 4:10“Humble yourselves before God, resist the Devil and he will flee from you.”
Humility: Knowing who you really are in Christ!