Why Should I Humble Myself?
“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
See James 4:6
Growing up, we are taught to be the best. In grade school, at the end of the year, certificates and awards are handed out to the overachieving pudding-cup people. In middle school, our social life turns toward having the prettiest girlfriend or most athletic boyfriend. We are pushed to have the best. Sports and activities, which you are also driven to be the best at by coaches, teachers, students, and parents–these things start to take off as a new goal.
BE THE BEST! DON’T BE AT THE BOTTOM!
In sports, you want to be cheered for at the games and included as an important part of the team. So you begin to practice your heart out, so that you can be good in the games; so that you can…be the best.
We are driven to be the best! Not be lowly, not be humble, but elite.
For some, it’s band or school clubs, but in junior high, the notion of being the top person begins to take precedent.
High school takes it to a whole other level. You are nudged to be the stud athlete, or the most beautiful girl. Grades? Forget about it. The pressure to get all A’s is astronomical. WE ARE DRIVEN TO BE AT THE TOP! Not the bottom, but BETTER than the rest!
It doesn’t end there. College is simply high school without teachers and parents pressuring you, but instead, yourself. The school doesn’t care if you show up or not, you’ll just have to keep paying them if you fail. So the pressure to be the best is on you.
After college, the job market is the most severe when it comes to being the best!
“Make the most money!”
“Get the biggest house!”
“Drive the best car!”
“Take awesome vacations!”
“Have big bank accounts!”
“MAKE. MORE. MONEY!”
“DO. MORE. THINGS!”
Oh, and if you decide to go into entrepreneurship, my goodness, the gut-wrenching pressure from the world to be the very best is monumental! BE ON TOP! OR DON’T HAVE A BUSINESS! PERIOD!
There is so much pressure to be the best, to be better than others. From the time we are just little kids, our hearts are molded toward high achievement. And don’t even get me started on the pressure of the loveless Christians, to be “the best” like them.
With all this pressure, it’s no wonder so many people have a difficult time living out the Christian life. Why?
Because the entire premise of Christianity is based on humbling yourself. Humility is Christianity 101, the entry-level course.
Until we finally admit that we are extremely flawed–on our own–Christ can’t fully use us. Even as a Christian, until we do as John the Baptist said, “He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30), we will never fulfill our deepest God-given destinies.
Jesus said that if we never “change and become like a little child, we will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). James, the half-brother of Jesus reiterated Scripture when he said, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). Opposes the proud! The best! The ones on top without Him!
Humbling ourselves is the only way we can become exactly like Christ in spirit! That is, saying, “I’m not above this. I can forgive the unforgivable. I can love the unloveable. I can do all things through Christ, He strengthens me.” That’s humility! Humbling ourselves to Christ in us is simply changing our habits, choices, and lifestyles to the point of near-excruciating pain!
And this pain is coming from KILLING OFF our old, unrenewed mindsets! That arrogant, “I know what’s best for me” version of ourselves! I WAS THE WORST AT THIS!
It wasn’t until I finally said, “Okay, God. Use me, no matter how much it hurts,” that everything changed. It was in my humility that God gave me a brand new life. What’s funny is, I’m more confident now than I’ve ever been.
So today, my friends, know this: Humbling yourself to God, through Christ, is a courageous thing! Allowing His Spirit to live through you is the highest achievement ever! This is where your new confidence begins! This is where you learn your value! This is where you get a backbone! This is where you learn how to overcome evil with good, and hate, with love! Begin to humble yourself today. Just say, “Jesus, I’m ready. Let’s do this,” and you’re off!
A prayer for you: God I want to thank you today for knocking the stool of pride out from under me. It was a good thing. And although I fought you for so long, thank you for never giving up on me. Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. HUMBLE THEM! SHOW THEM WHAT TRUE HUMILITY IS! SHOW THEM WHAT REAL STRENGTH IS! Do them like you did me, and remove everything in their lives that would keep them from coming to know Jesus on the deepest level possible. They might not know it now, but this will be the best thing that ever happened to them! In Christ’s name I pray, amen!
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