I’m inspired by a godly woman from our church, Delores. A year or so before my illness, she ultimately healed from stage 4 brain cancer. She was a vivacious lady around 60 years old living life to the full. She and her husband ran the local annual rodeo and a western store.
One Saturday evening, she laid down because she had a headache. The next thing you know, she was having a full-blown seizure. Soon afterward, we learned it was cancer. I have never seen someone have such a positive attitude. It was the most beautiful thing to see. She spoke life to the entire church during her journey to heaven. She would always tell us, “I’m just along for the ride.”
When we look around our communities and our world, it seems we have allowed pride and privilege to take over our hearts and lives. Perhaps it’s time to pursue humility in all our lives.
Inspired by her earlier post, Seven Biblical Promises for Walking in Humility, I asked Karen Friday if she would write more on the subject. Karen is a fellow Christian blogger and a pastor’s wife. Read with open hearts and then share on the link-up what you have been writing about Leaving a Legacy.
It seems missing from our present culture. But this lack isn’t anything new. People, even God’s people, have always had a bent toward self-centeredness and boasting.
And learning to pursue humility is a needed spiritual discipline for a Christ-follower.
So here are 8 ways to pursue H-U-M-I-L-I-T-Y.
H – Honor God.
Pursuing humility starts with honoring God by letting Him be God and do His job—not taking over.
But we have a choice to let Him act as CEO of our plans and purpose. We ask ourselves: God is CEO, am I in His seat? If I am, it means I’ve exchanged honoring God for honoring myself.
Because when we take the reins, God doesn’t reign as Lord.
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” (James 4:10, ESV)
U – Understand humanity.
Once we realize who God is, we come to terms with our own flesh. Created in God’s image, we are wired for humility, but learn life’s about me.
Our flesh and spirit war against each other. And make no mistake, our flesh and the enemy of our soul wars against humility in our life. But our spirit desires humility.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people…clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12, NIV, emphasis added)
M – Model Jesus.
Although Jesus was fully human and divine, He lived and ministered as a humble man who put the interest of others first. He never turned anyone away, not even those considered “unclean” or social outcasts.
We are called to the same humble life.
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves…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 2:3-8, ESV, emphasis added)
I – Invite transformation.
Ask the Holy Spirit for help to change and transform us from the inside out.
Maybe we start with praying these Bible verses over ourselves.
“Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” (Romans 12:16, NIV)
“…serve one another humbly in love.” (Galatians 5:13b, ESV)
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” (1 Corinthians 13:4, NIV)
L – Lay down pride.
None of us enjoy discovering areas of pride. But it is worth a continual evaluation if we consider how Satan’s fall all started with pride. And pride disrupts our relationships with others and the Lord. Again, ask the Spirit to reveal this to us.
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18, ESV)
“Haughty eyes and a proud heart— the unplowed field of the wicked—produce sin.” (Proverbs 21:4, NIV)
“In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.” (Psalm 10:4, NIV)
I – Identify boasting.
Boasting is often seen online, in our career, in relationships, and so on.
Many life areas may promote boasting, “Look at me and what I did.” If we don’t voice it, we display the attitude.
Jeremiah describes a time God’s people had forsaken His law, not obeyed His voice, but followed their own hearts and other gods.
The Lord said, “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord….” (Jeremiah 9:23-24a, ESV)
Likewise, Paul notes how God doesn’t choose those to minister and serve based on the world’s standards of wisdom, power, or nobility. “So that no human being might boast in the presence of God…as it is written, ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’” (1 Corinthians 1:29-31, ESV)
Identify areas of outward or inward boasting of “me,” and increase our boasting of God.
“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” (James 3:13, NIV, emphasis added)
“Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.” (Psalm 25:8-9, ESV, emphasis added)
Y – Yield to God’s glory.
Nothing showcases humility like yielding everything to God and making sure He receives the glory—He’s always in the spotlight.
“Humility is the fear of the LORD; its wages are riches and honor and life.” (Proverbs 22:4, NIV)
“Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty.” (Psalm 104:1, NASB)
Thank you, Karen. You have given all of us some new ways to pursue humility. I pray that we will take this to heart today. You will find more of Karen’s wisdom on her blog, Karen “Girl” Friday.
Want to Pursue Humility Further?
If you would like to study more on the topics of Pride and Humility, may I suggest a new book out by Linda Wentworth Barnes, (my college roommate, and also a pastor’s wife.) Look for my review on the Amazon listing of this book.
I just finished watching a movie, The Same Kind of Different as Me. I had to come to tell you about it immediately while my heart was still moved. This movie is based on the true story of an international art dealer who cheated on his wife. His wife forgave him but for penance, she required him to come with her and serve at a local homeless shelter. She dreams of an angry homeless man that is very wise. Low and behold he showed up at the shelter. Deborah tells her husband to befriend him. It took time and several tries but he finally makes friends with him and the story begins. I don’t want to spoil the story so I will stop there.
I will say that the homeless man taught me two things I hope to not forget:
We are all homeless, just looking for the way Home. Everyone has a past we are not proud of and we are homeless because this world is not our home. We need to look beyond what we see (race, status, education) and realize that God is the only way home. We are all the same kind of different and we need to come together to help each other make it home.
Some people need to have the “hell” loved out of them. Sometimes, we must look deep, really deep to find the good in people. But it is there. We can’t give up on them. Keep loving them until they find the God that loves them.
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At the time of this writing, rent it for $2.99. However, Sign up for a trial month on Amazon Video membership for only $3
Same Kind of Different is based on the book written by the actual people that experienced this God Story. It has some great actors like Jon Voight, Greg Kinnear, and Renne’ Zellweger. You will also love a beautiful song by Brad Paisley, Stubborn Angels.
Brad Paisley’s Stubborn Angel
True Story Told by Those who Experienced it.
If you are more of a book reader than a moviegoer, you can pick the book up in hardcover, softcover, Kindle, audiobook or CD MP3. There’s is even a children’s version to help you teach your children about kindness.
Last night our son came home from work and asked if he could take us to see a movie. Going to the movies aggravates my pain issues so we had not been to the movies in over a year. We accepted.
He took us to a very nice theater that has recliners for seating. Can you believe it? It was quite comfortable especially for me and my chronic pain. Georgia Theater Company.
And now, about the movie ……
Beauty and the Beast.
I found the movie to be wonderful.
The story stayed close to the original storyline, yet adding backstory on both Belle and the Beast explaining a lot of things left unanswered in the animated version. The cinematography was awesome. The music was wonderful, even the new songs were appropriate and fitting.
The film was refreshingly new.
While the storyline was the same, the added scenes and twists made it like watching a new love story. I especially loved the ending; the spell is broken and the relationship between the castle and the townspeople is revealed. No more info because I don’t want to spoil it for you.
Unquestionably, my 20-year old daughter and I both loved it and believe it’s worth seeing AGAIN!
I’ve always felt that one can learn and teach values from nearly any book or film.
Here are a few points I would find as teaching points if I still had young children at home.
Bad attitudes and pride will separate you from your friends and your family.
Bullies normally have sad or bad events in their lives causing their bad attitude, look deep before you judge.
Kindness almost always wins out over bullies.
If your child even notices the presence of a gay man, use this opportunity to talk about these issues as they will certainly be exposed to it sooner than later.
Finally, my advice is just to go see it and decide for yourself.
I found it wonderfully entertaining.
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