Living a life of humility is not self-deprecation. Self-deprecation is a behavior gimmick employed to present one’s self as excessively modest; seeking to draw greater attention to yourself or an attempt to belittle or undervalue oneself.
Seeking to live a life in humility is not a character quality many people seek to possess. Humility is contrary to our basic human behavior and is not a natural desire. We tend to have a proudful spirit and this is evident in even the youngest child who seeks approval from others for their accomplishments.
Satan’s pride was the reason why he was removed from his place in God’s Kingdom and will be cast into the lake of fire. We have the same pride issue and it too will separate us from God. A proudful spirit will build walls between you and others and you and God.
The word of God draws this conclusion about our pride:
“The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.” (Psa 10:4)
Pride has been the downfall of most people and will allow Satan to gain control in their life. The Apostle Paul, speaking to the selection of servants in the Lord’s Church, said:
“Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.” (1 Ti 3:6)
The scripture states of Jesus:
"Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." (Php 2:6-8)
“He humbled Himself,” Jesus was not and could not be humiliated by anyone but He made the choice to be “humble.” Jesus was, according to the scripture, God and creator of the world:
“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him.” (Col 1:16)
Jesus was not humbled by the leaders of the Jews, Roman authorities or even His own family. The only way the Creator King and Saviour would be humbled was if He Himself made that choice. To be able to deny one’s self is the key to humility.
Jesus is our example. We are instructed in the Bible to:
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Php 2:5)
What was the “mind” of Jesus? He was God but Jesus, “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant.” (Php 2:7) The Creator become a servant. There is no better example of this statement in the Bible than when Jesus robed Himself and washed the feet of the disciples.
The Prophet, Priest and King took such a lowly disposition that many did not notice that He was washing their feet. Humility came naturally to Jesus but not so much for us. The book of Proverbs is filled with warnings for us about the dangers and pitfalls of pride and we, like Jesus, must choose to humble ourselves.
The scriptures reminds us of the importance of humility with these words:
“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (Jas 4:10)
Self-promotion is a character quality that often is employed in the world to achieve success but to be truly successful with both man and God you must learn to humble yourself.
If you will seek humility as you live your life as a pilgrim in this world God will indeed lift you up.
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