October 26 – Humility: that which God values

October 26, 2018 Randy Bushey

~by Randy Bushey  For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you (Romans 12:3).

Are we in danger of possessing that which God most hates: pride?

At a time when many churches are struggling with declining attendance, reduced interest, and falling donations it is possible for faith communities like Bethel to feel smug and a little self-satisfied.

No question, we have much for which to be thankful.

There may never have been a time in Bethel’s +100-year history quite like what we are experiencing in the present.

And yet we must be wary of pride. In fact the New Testament warns twice of God’s direct opposition to human pride:

James 4:6 – That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

1Peter 5:5 – All of you, clothe yourselves with humility towards one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Here are 3 principles that might help us as we seek the Lord’s protection from our own consuming pride:

1)I must be honest about what I am good at, but also be prepared to take input – even if it is negative – in that area of competence. Too often we are guilty of false humility, and it’s a 2-headed monster. Here’s what to look for: can I take a compliment? Conversely, can I receive constructive criticism?

2)I must recognize that every skill and ability, gift and positive attribute is given to me from God. Most of us have the advantages of abilities derived genetically and the benefits of family background, western education, plus mentors and examples in our past. Pastor and author C.J. Mahaney penned a book on the topic entitled Humility: True Greatness, which is currently being read by our elders and deacons. In it he says, “Humility is honestly assessing ourselves in light of God’s holiness and our sinfulness.”

3)I must exercise faith that as I submit to His work in my life, the Spirit of God will use that which with He’s equipped me to reflect God’s glory in this dark world. Part of that process employs the famous C.S. Lewis definition: “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”

Takeaway: How do I know whether humility is being built into my character?

Here’s a good measurement: when I no longer authentically think less of myself when criticized and more of myself when complimented, then humility is taking hold.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom (Proverbs 11:2).