Humility?

Humility?

Featured in the October, 2007 Issue of the Ashburn Baptist News

Is it possible to understand humility? Yes, it is very easy because each of us by personal experience knows what pride is and humility is the exact opposite.

It is dangerous to be proud because then God is against you, for the Scripture says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).

Spiritual people are humble people. Jacob said to God, “I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant” (Genesis 32:10)
and went on to great success. It was Solomon who said in his prayer, “I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties” (I Kings 3:10) and then God
gave him great wisdom. Paul claimed to be the greatest of sinners (I Timothy 1:15) but turned out to be the greatest of saints.

The wrecked lives of the proud are scattered through the pages of Scripture. Pharaoh sneered, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey Him” (Exodus 5:2).
Uzziah’s pride brought him leprosy and death (II Chronicles 26:16-23). Nebuchadnezzar’s pride boasted, “Is not this the great Babylon I have built” (Daniel 4:30) and cost
him his sanity and kingdom.

Pride is precarious but humble people are always helped by the Lord. Here are seven marks of a humble person:

1 A humble person prefers solitude, understanding that he is not God’s gift to the human race. He enjoys spending time in the presence of God
and though he does like the company of other people he is not a self-appointed critic of others or a solver of everyone’s problems. A proud person feels he must always
be with others because “how can they get along without me!”

2 A humble person listens. He is not sure he can understand others simply by looking at them and so he must patiently listen to them in order
to gain their friendship, their confidence and perhaps be a blessing to them. A proud person does very little listening because “he knows everything already” and his
self-esteem is so pumped up that he is sure everybody else needs to listen to him.

3 A humble person reads a great deal, especially the Bible. He knows he has a lot to learn and is sure that things he has learned in the past
may have been forgotten. A proud person does not read much because he is “too smart for all that”.

4 A humble person spends time in prayer knowing he is dependent upon God for life, health, strength, salvation and the fullness of the Spirit.
Bloated with self-confidence, a proud person does not bother to pray because he is clever enough to tackle life by himself.

5 A humble person has a lot of questions. He is sure that he can pick up information and insight from others. The proud person pretends to
have all the answers for everybody else’s questions.

6 A humble person is content feeling that he already has a better job, a better spouse, a better house, a better car and better health than he
really deserves. The proud person is certain that he deserves more of everything and everything bigger and better than he already has.

7 Then it is not surprising that the humble person is exceedingly happy. He’s never angry with others for slighting him, never upset because
he was overlooked. The proud person lives in misery because life has given him “a raw deal”.

The proud person is like a balloon filled with wind; the more wind the thinner the skin and more fragile and explosive the person. He is usually making a big noise
about something.

The humble person is like a great mountain; content to be where he is, to be rained on, buffeted by wind and snow and sleet, struck by lightening, trampled on by man
and beast, but beautiful no matter what the season and ready to be mined for gold, silver and precious stones.