Humility - Part I

Someone mentioned that I haven't posted any Bible studies in a long time. Actually, it's been 9 months.I guess I just forgot! If you know me, you know that's the truth. Oops!

What is humility?
What is humility not?
How do you "humble yourself"?
What good can come from humility?

Humility is NOT self-abasement or self-pity or putting oneself down. Humility is NOT becoming a doormat for people to tread on. Humility is not being a martyr with a poor-me attitude.

Being humble comes out of an inner motive to truly put others first out of respect and Christian love, and a desire to honor God with the purity of our hearts and actions.

Dictionary.com says humble means "not proud or arrogant, modest, courteously respectful, to make meek."

Humility doesn't seem to just show up alone. The Bible pairs humility with some other traits that seem to go along with it:
God says in Isaiah 66:2, "This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word." A contrite spirit is a spirit that is filled with sincere remorse for its sinful actions with a desire to turn away from sin.
In Matthew 11:29, Jesus says that he is "gentle and humble in heart."
Jesus tells us that, "whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in Heaven." (Mt. 18:4)

The Bible tells us continually to "humble yourself". For those of us who have problems with our pride, that's a tough one. Because sometimes we think we are being humble when we're not. And our pride becomes a very large boulder that stands between us and God's goodness.

I used to aspire to being "on top" by having a big fancy title with lots of responsibility and people under me. I would get little promotions or raises or accolades, but never a title like Manager or Director or Pastor or Supervisor. So when I got the opportunity to move from Ministry Assistant to Ministry Associate, I thought I had hit the big time. I was finally going to have a title and an office to go with the degree! That was in July of 2008.

In winter of 2008-2009, I went through severe depression and disillusionment with my job. My attitude became poisoned. I started looking for another job because I was so unhappy in mine. I had an office, I had a title, I had responsibility, I even had an assistant. But it didn't make me happy. I stuck it out, however, and God helped my attitude to improve, but last summer, I got a new boss. My attitude got bad again. I gave myself a couple of months to see what would happen, but I knew I was going to hate her.

In December, this new boss called me in to talk about my negative attitude during a meeting. She was kind about it and very patient. She wanted to help me do better. She asked if I was happy in my job. No, I wasn't. I was no longer doing what I was good at, but in my pride, I had failed to see it.

God opened my eyes and humbled my heart. Now, I'm her assistant and I sincerely care for her deeply. I don't have an office anymore - I have a cubicle. I still have a lot of responsibility and still am part of the pastoral staff, but I know my real talents lie in organization and administrative assistant duties. Oh, I'm still leading groups and I get a kick out of investing in people. But I have been freed from the need to have a title and an office and to be something BIG. My pride has been mutilated by God and I'm so grateful.

Stayed tuned. Next week we'll talk about the benefits of being humble, according to God's word.

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