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December 26, 2014

Text:  “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that at the proper time he may exalt you…:    I Peter 5:6

Humility is admired by almost everyone, but few want to pay the price to obtain it. Sir William Temple gives us this insight: “Humility does not mean thinking less of yourself than of other people, nor does it mean having a low opinion of your own gifts. It means freedom from thinking about yourself at all.”  The self is the greatest barrier to humility. Self is the easiest part of us for Satan to use to bloat our egos. Self deludes us to exalt ourselves and deprecate others. But the easiest foible of our lives (pride, humility’s opposite) can help consign us to God’s condemnation. 

Everyone wants to be someone great: president, movie or musical star, tv personality, a success in business, novelist, and so on. We all like the limelight and seek to get it. We all want to say, “See who I am!” Consider that this “see me” stuff is limited to your own judgment. Someone once said of Howard Cosell (lawyer, writer, and commentator on Monday Night Football): “Howard Cosell  is a legend in his own mind”.  How does that fit you?

There are people who want to attract attention to themselves. They will go to great lengths to gain recognition and fame for themselves.  Jesus cites the hypocrites praying in the synagogues  as bad examples to follow. They were trying to gain attention to their religiosity. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised of others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.”  Matthew 6:2  What are they working for?  They want to feel appreciated, to be rewarded, recognition to enlarge their egos, praise, friendship, esteem, advancement, and awards. They exert great energy to these selfish goals, but they seek the rewards of the world. However,  they also fail to recognize  that in seeking these things they abandon the  behavior and character God wants them to have. As Paul advises to those with conflicting choices, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things on earth.” Colossians 2:3

Though the status seekers exert much effort for their pursuits, the pursuit of humility takes much more exertion on our parts.  If we take the casual position that humility can be overlooked in our Christian lives, we will be guilty of  gross misjudgment and disobedience to God.  It takes great self-sacrifice to  mold your life to the trait of humility.  A lot of pride, ambition, greed, selfishness, competition for money and material matters, etc. must GO. Your life must be more submissive to God. Your goals must be re-ordered. You  must be urgent and persistent in your exertions to embed humility in your life.

One more thing to remember; work hard to obtain humility, but don’t advertise it!


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