Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:10 (NIV)
More than one time I’ve told someone, ANY disagreement, argument or quarrel will be instantaneously ended by humbling yourself and choosing not to continue. The other person will find it impossible to continue without the fuel to fire the conversation! Just think about it, you cannot disagree with someone who doesn’t disagree with you…. Right? Can’t argue without a point of argument. And, no quarrelling without a fellow quarreler! It would simply be a one-sided dialogue that should quickly turn to silence. Go, try it, and tell me if it worked! I still stand by it, humble yourself into silence and it will end.
Now the question, “Why would I want to do that?” There are 73 references to the word humble in the NIV Bible. They either reference “a people” who refused to humble themselves and found God’s wrath against them…… or “a people” who humbled themselves before the Lord and received mercy and grace. It seems appropriate to surmise that a person who humbles themselves is in a favorable position before God. That’s a good God-relationship builder…. being humble. BUT, I wonder if we don’t think deep enough about what it means to be humble, or to be humbled.
The Old Testament says that God humbled the Israelites so they would be obedient and observe His commands. “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. (Duet 8:3)” God puts trials in our lives so that we are receptive of His grace and mercy. It is the point in life when we realize that we “bring nothing to the table” and must rely on God for His kingdom, power and glory, Amen! At the point of hunger, God fed his people. At our point of need, God provides according to God’s will for us.
The contrast to humility is pride! Pride is a disagreement, argument or quarrel with GOD about whose WILL is going to be the focus for life. God’s will leads to HUMILITY, my will leads to PRIDE! If I’m living a life about me then I’ll care very little about others who might disagree with me. I’ll need to be right, have the last word, and have it done my way. When someone offers a differing view, I’ll have to speak up. I’ll have to comment on their post! I’ll have to degrade them to other people. I’ll have to correct them for the sake of being “right”. I’ll have to use a tone of voice that clearly shows my disfavor. I’ll have to snap at them or anyone else around because I’m right, and they’re wrong. THAT’s PRIDE!!
BUT GOD sent Jesus so that he might say, Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matt 11:9) The priest Ezra heard God put it this way, If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chron 7:14) Psalm 25:9 states, He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. The cure to PRIDE is HUMILITY, gifted by God. In Galatians 5:22 the fruits of the Spirit use these words to describe humility; kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control. It is only in the Spirit, through Christ who strengthens me, that I will find humility.
Someone who claims humility, HAS LOST IT! It is prideful to think you have humility! In humility you can only seek greater humility. In humility you will pray for your weakness to be exposed, creating greater humility in your emptiness. Jesus taught during the Sermon on the Mount in Matt 5:5, Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. In humility you will be exalted by God, not man. That’s James 4:10, Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
So now let’s work on the sequencing…… #1: God will first humble us through the circumstances of life. #2: Then He will offer restoration by extending His grace, mercy and peace for us to freely accept, FREE-WILL. #3: By saying YES to the offer, we then live as new creations, and #4: we then reflect Christ’s life of gentleness and humility by extending that relationship restoring grace and mercy to our neighbors in humility and peace. And that is where we started this commentary…… show Christ’s humility and gentleness in your earthly relationships, so that through your actions and words God will be honored and glorified. Choose the Galatians 6:9-10 way of living,Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
So let us Pray: I BRING NOTHING TO THE TABLE, Lord, strengthen me, your servant. Create in me a pure heart. Restore your willing Spirit to sustain me. Lead me in your will. Bestow upon me your meekness and humility. Use me as a vessel of your Love for others. May I be your hands, be your feet, to my Church family and to those who don’t know you. Grant me Peace.
Praise be to God. Grace, Mercy and Peace!