This is Part 1 of 3 in the Humility Series.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:17
My baby buried herself in my arms, crying and crying as the cool coastal wind rushed against us. Exhausted after hours in the sun, she twisted and turned in vain, desperate for sleep. I was pacing in the sand, rocking her to no avail.
I didn’t have her pacifier, to soothe her. I didn’t have a jacket for her, for warmth. In that moment I felt like the worst mother ever.
There’s a long story behind this circumstance, but the situation culminated in this moment, when I was so close to crying along with her, to crashing in shame, to wallowing in self-pity.
My mind moaned, how did I let this happen? What should I do?
I realized in that weak place that I had two choices: pride or humility.
I could be crushed by the shame and regret, too discontent with God to do anything. Stubborn.
Or I could acknowledge the difficulty, and humbly seek the power of Christ. He could help me. He could and would give wisdom, if I asked. (James 1:5)
Lord, please help me. Please give Your servant relief! Forgive me for worrying and not turning to You sooner!
Opening my eyes, I saw a friend nearby, and swallowing my pride sought help. She graciously offered the shelter of her car, and my little girl calmed down.
The solution was simple, right? Yet, with embarrassment or failure, we can become irrational in our hurt pride.
Humility before God was the answer.
Defining True Humility
I love the Lord, because he has heard
my voice and my pleas for mercy.
Because he inclined his ear to me,
therefore I will call on him as long as I live. Psalm 116:1-2
Do you call out to God, acknowledging your need for Him? Are you ready to admit your mistakes, in order to see His glory in your restoration?
We are messy, broken people, and yet all too often our hearts try to claim otherwise – to our own demise.
Even in the pristine garden of Eden, Eve’s pride convinced her that she could be her own God, leading to sin crashing into the world (Genesis 3). Pride agrees with Satan’s lies!
Humility, however, is deeply pleasing to the Lord. It comes when one rests in God, revering Him and His truth above oneself.As a Christian, humility should not be momentary, but a state of mind. Click To Tweet
The Greek word used for humble in the New Testament is tapeinoo – which means “to bring low.” As believers in the Gospel, our sinful selves have been brought low, humbled by His grace. Unlike what the world thinks, that’s amazing.
When we are low, we are in the best possible place to lovingly serve Him. To enjoy His glory.
Here’s an example. John the Baptist, the man who prepared Israel for Christ’s arrival, once said:
[Jesus] must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30 (ESV)
John knew full well that his life was not for his own glory, but about exalting the Lord.
You see, being humble isn’t merely thinking less of yourself.
Humility actively recognizes God for who He is—the Creator, the Almighty, the Savior, the Eternal King. It’s knowing He’s the Holy One holding you in His hands.
Remember: He’s given you all you have.
His plan and judgment ultimately stand.
He has offered you, a sinner, undeserved mercy in Christ.
Day by day we should bow before God in our hearts with thankfulness, confessing our sin and helplessness, putting no confidence in ourselves. (Philippians 3:3)Humility is not simply thinking less of yourself; it's thinking more and more of God. Click To Tweet
Humility is constantly acknowledging God’s infinite greatness. It’s living and breathing that very truth, holding onto it for sustenance, instead of struggling for self-reliance.
It’s honoring His Will way above our own, knowing we are nothing apart from Christ.
The Meek Welcome God
The Lord preserves the simple;
when I was brought low, he saved me. Psalm 116:6
Humility is at the core of believing in the Gospel. In order to take joy in Jesus, to fully understand what He accomplished at the cross and resurrection, you must first acknowledge your deep need for God’s forgiveness.
The Lord takes humility seriously, because without humbling ourselves we cannot genuinely worship. We cannot genuinely have faith in the Son’s work, and live it out before others.
To close, cultivating humility pushes us closer to the Lord. By cherishing His supreme role, we appreciate more about His grace, depend deeper on His promises, and find endless reasons to glorify Him.
Once we come before Him, with Him on the throne instead of ourselves, we are able to grow in humility with others. Read how humility can abundantly bless your marriage.
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With every bit of pride we let go, we take a step closer to God. Click To Tweet
A list of verses to pray over (hover over to read):
1 Peter 5:6