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Sunday, August 27, 2017 pm

PROBLEMS CHRISTIANS FACE
Humility - The Answer to Pride

 

                Last Sunday we presented a lesson addressing the subject of sinful pride.  We noted what pride is and how we need to guard against it.   We also saw from God’s word how He views the prideful.  Proverbs 6:16-17 describes it one of the seven things God hates.  James 4:6 tells us that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.   Consider what pride does and how it is something we need to be aware of, how do we deal with pride?  That is what we want to address tonight.  

 I.                     Humility, the answer to pride

a.       What is humility?  It is putting one’s real worth into proper perspective.  It is thinking about others rather than yourself.   One source summarized it as recognizing God’s right to rule in our hearts and lives and to use our gifts to bring glory to Him.[1]

b.       Humility – this really is the solution, and the antithesis of pride.
Proverbs 11:2, When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom.
Romans 12:3 calls for us to not think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think.

James 4:10, humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
Colossians 3:12 calls for us to put on humility as well as tender mercies, etc.

1 Corinthians 13:4 – a quality of godly love – it “does not parade itself, is not puffed up…”
Matthew 18:1-4, dealing with disciples disputing about who is the greatest, Jesus said that we must become like little children. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

c.        Biblical examples of humility
Moses – Numbers 12:3 says, “(Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth.)
At the burning bush (Exodus 3 & 4), he didn’t desire leadership, but he finally led them. 
He didn’t think too highly of himself as he stood up for Israel (cf. Hebrews 11:24-25).
Dealing with a rebellious and stubborn people, Moses maintained His humility.  He even interceded for them.
Jesus – Matthew 11:28-29 – Jesus said, “Come to Me…I am meek and lowly in heart” Philippians 2:5-7, consider how Jesus left heaven and became a lowly man.  Born to common folk and laid in a manger. 2 Corinthians 8:9 – For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.

Look at the way He conducted Himself while on earth – being accused, He didn’t revile (cf. 1 Peter 2:21-24) is an example.  Before the High Priest and Pilate he remained silent (Mk. 14:61, 15:4-5).  He associated with the poor and lowly.  He kept His composure in spite of numerous troubles. 

II.                   Developing humility

a.       Remember your place – do not think more highly of yourself than you ought to (Romans 12:3). Vs. 16 calls for us to not set our mind on high things.  This applies both to God and men.
Accept your circumstances in life.  Again, I appeal to the example of Jesus and His willingness to obey the Father.  Philippians 2:8 – He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death...  Hebrews 5:8 – He learned obedience. 

b.       Matthew 5:3-7 – the beginning of being where you ought to be before God – poor in spirit, mourning and meekness.  Describes the process of humility – poor in spirit, mourning and then meek (meekness is described as strength under control, an attitude of humility).  I have read ancient Greeks used the term to describe a wild horse that has been tamed. 
This quality is followed by a craving to be righteous. 

c.        Submit to God – Prov. 8:13, the fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way
James 4:7-8 calls for us to submit to God and draw near to Him.  This is bookended in vs. 6 & 10 with humility

Seek first the kingdom of God – Matthew 6:33. Making God your priority prevents so many avenues that lead to pride and arrogance.  Being busy serving Him, not making worldly pursuits your goal, (etc.) will keep you humble.

d.       Realize that meekness and humility are not degrading qualities.  While our society sometimes looks down upon the humble and meek as weak, we know better.  How much better would the world be if everyone approached others, especially in troubling circumstances, with humility. 
God looks upon the humble graciously.  He exalts them.  Matthew 5:5 – they “inherit the earth” (which could mean that theirs is a disposition that will make the world better, or possibly a spiritual application to our eternal reward – our “new heaven and new earth”.  You might say, the earth as God intended it.)

e.       Submit to others – 1 Peter 5:5 calls for us to submit to one another. One of the best ways to learn humility is to submit, especially to those who are not over you.   The Bible deals with this in various descriptions:

                                                   i.      Associate with the humble – Romans 12:16, tells us to not set our mind on high things, Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

                                                 ii.      Think about others and their needs – Phil 2:3-4.  Don’t just look out for your own interests, but the interests of others.
Rejoice in their good qualities and accomplishments, etc.

                                                iii.      Serve others – Galatians 5:13 – in thinking about our brethren, let us seek to serve them.
1 Corinthians 9:19, Paul has made himself a servant of all. 

f.         Check your thoughts – THINK before you assume! 
1 Corinthians 10:12 – let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.  Be aware of pride in various circumstances.  Ask yourself if you are being prideful.  Consider the sins of pride previously mentioned – arrogance, self-righteousness, jealousy, boasting, vanity, etc.
2 Corinthians 10:5 we struggle to bring every thought into captivity. 
Philippians 4:8 describes the types of things we are to meditate upon – while not specifically mentioned, would not humility be included in this list?

g.       Thought: We are still accountable to correct error.  Some think that going to a brother in sin is prideful (and you may be accused of it), but God tells us to do that very thing. 
2 Timothy 2:25 notes that the servant of the Lord, in humility, corrects those who are in opposition.
In fact, consider Galatians 6:1 which calls for us to go to one overtaken in a trespass, while in a spirit of gentleness, considering ourselves. 
However, let us make sure we do so with humility – cf. Matthew 7:1-5.  Examine yourself first.
Finally, consider 1 Peter 3:15, as we defend the hope that is in us, we do so with meekness and fear.

h.       Be thankful – gratitude is a quality of humility.  Christians are called upon to be thankful in all things – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Ephesians 5:20, etc.  Colossians 4:2 – be vigilant with thanksgiving.
A great example of this is Paul in 1 Timothy 1:12 where he thanks Christ Jesus for His grace.
Perhaps from time to time, when we are tempted to be lifted up, we ought to consider how blessed we are and pause to be thankful for what we already have.  May this cause us to be humble. 

i.         Pray about it – James 1:5 – like wisdom, we ought to ask for humility.  Ask for strength to overcome our prideful attitudes and thoughts.  

j.         When you do sin in this (or anything else), repent and ask for forgiveness!  Acts 8:21-22 – pray the thought of your heart be forgiven you.  As with any sin, work through it. 

 

In summary, as with so many of the problems and sinful attitudes we deal with, living the Christian life (with God as your priority), will help you overcome this and every other ungodly attitude.   Again, I know this is easy to say.  And, in thought, we understand these things.  BUT, implementing them in a meaningful and lasting way is NOT an easy thing to do.  It takes complete resolve and making God the priority He ought to be.  And isn’t that what we are striving to achieve as we seek to empty ourselves of our pride?  So what about you?  Are you prideful?  What are you doing about it?



[1] Quinn, Jon W. “Humility.” Bible.ca, Steve Rudd, 19 Aug. 2017, www.bible.ca/ef/topical-humility.htm.