Tag Archives: humility

Right or Righteous Podcast Episode

Do you want to be right or righteous?


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Advice and Instruction

Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. – Proverbs 19:20

This verse stood out to me this morning. It made me ask myself, why don’t we seek advice and instruction? A few reasons came to mind:

1) It’s humbling. To seek advice requires you to admit you don’t know everything. And even though we all know that’s true, we still don’t really like to admit it.
2) It requires effort. It’s a form of learning, and to be a lifelong learner means you’ll actually have to put forth the effort and work to continue to learn.
3) Comfort zones are comfortable. It’s more comfortable not to seek growth than it is to seek growth. Advice and instruction are about growing.

The good news is that there’s still hope for us. Because now that we’ve recognized why we don’t seek advice, hopefully we have the wisdom to know we should. Next, we’ll talk about ways we can receive good advice and instruction.

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Humility Doesn’t Equal Shame

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. – Philippians 2:3‭, ‬7‭-‬8 NLT

Humility doesn’t mean embarrassment. Humility really is about having a healthy outlook of yourself and others. It’s not being embarrassed or put to shame it’s abstaining from pridefulness, especially in a way that doesn’t acknowledge God’s hand in your life.

I admit that often, when I pray for God to humble me, I have the thought that something embarrassing will happen to me. That’s not true. Humility can come from any moment that I simply realize and reflect on the fact that I always need God. Now, do I need to be knocked off of my high horse sometimes? Of course. But God doesn’t allow those moments to happen so that I’ll be embarrassed or ashamed.

Shame is never God’s goal for us. Shame is a result of sin, either our own sin or someone else’s. Adam and Eve felt shame, not because God wanted them to, but because they had sinned.

The goal of life is to be like Jesus. Jesus lived a humble life. He showed that humility requires at least three things:

1) Selflessness
2) Servanthood
3) Obedience to God

So, in conclusion, I’ll offer the humility test. Are you better than other people? Are you too important to serve others? Do you obey God? If you answered yes to the first two, you’ve got some practicing to do. If you answered no to the final one, you’ve got some surrendering to do.

The good news is that today is a great day to start.

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The Power of Humility

I had this realization this morning. We don’t really want the power God wants to give us. Yes, the cliché is true. Thanks, Spiderman. With great power comes great responsibility.

I know I’ve been afraid of the power God may be willing to give me. I know it would put me in situations I don’t want to be in. I’d have to speak up more and leave my house more. And don’t want to. Thankfully, it doesn’t matter that I don’t want to, though.

There’s another type of power we don’t really want. The power I’m referring to is when we aren’t in the limelight. The power and ability to practice humility. Most of the time, when we pray for power, it’s to do something we believe is extraordinary. It’s to cast out demons or speak to the masses. Very rarely do we pray for the power to be humble.

The interesting thing about when God empowers us is that He humbles us first. If you can have the ability to be humble, you can be trusted with power and responsibility.

Jesus had all power, yet He humbly walked this earth. He could’ve struck people dead, called thousands of angels to deliver Him, or bluntly just sent people to Hell. Yet, part of His power and strength was in His humility. He had the power to stay humble, and that is an act of God.

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
Philippians 2:5‭-‬8 NLT

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Death to Self

This is just now registering in my brain. Giving up our lives doesn’t have to only look like death.

We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.- 1 John 3:16 NLT

So of course naturally I read this verse and think of death. Jesus died on a cross for our sins, so it’s not farfetched to think we should be willing to die for one another. But, what if this verse is also saying we should be willing to live with one another?

To give up my life may mean I need to give of my time that I hold so dearly. What if giving up my life means giving of my resources for a godly cause? What if giving up my life means I’m willing to die for the Christian cause, but importantly ready to die to self for my relationship with Christ?

Death takes place in our walk with God. Selfishness has to die. Pride has to die. Really, a lot of our learned behaviors have to die. I’ve believed that some are called to martyrdom, as tough a pill to swallow as that is, I believe it’s true. Yet, all of us are called to die in some way for Christ. So how come so few of us do?

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Sensible People

Sensible people control their temper; they earn respect by overlooking wrongs. – Proverbs 19:11 NLT

There are a lot of ways to earn respect. I’d say this is one of the hardest to me. I’ll call it what it is, pride. My pride makes this a difficult one for me. It’s not that I love pointing out people’s wrongs, I just want to.

If someone wrongs me, I want people to know that they did. There’s some pride that comes from knowing I’m innocent in a situation and they’re not. But that’s not right or sensible.

Sensible people control their tempers. As we’ve read in Romans, the godly let God have His vengeance and we don’t take matters into our own hands. The sensible earn the respect of others by overlooking wrongs against them.

Overlook means making a conscious decision to look over what’s been done to them. It’s not about ignorance, but in essence about forgiveness. Sensible people choose humility over pride, and forgiveness rather than vengeance. They don’t make the easy choice but rather the godly one.

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Romans 12:3

Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. – Romans 12:3 NLT

Humble yourself. We as believers will be able to reach far more people for the Lord if we’re humble. How many times has a cocky person made you want to follow their example? Probably not very many times, if ever. In fact, cockiness causes me to steer clear of a person.

We are in need of God’s grace and mercy. We all need Jesus, therefore we all need to realize that there is no pedestal we belong on. In fact, if we saw ourselves as equals more often, we’d see an increase in the Church. We’d see more people serving and giving. Why? Because people wouldn’t think they were too good to serve. They wouldn’t think they’ve work so hard that they shouldn’t have to give. They’d likely see giving as a blessing since they’ve been the recipient of the greatest gift of all in Jesus Christ.

If that’s not humbling enough, read the latter part of this verse. You may genuinely think you’re better than someone else, unfortunately. However, I’d ask you where you stand when it comes to God-given faith? In an honest evaluation of yourself, where do you stand when it comes to your faith? Has your faith been tried and found fireproof?

To be honest, sometimes it takes a faith fail for us to wake up. Peter thought he was rock solid until his faith was tested and he crumbled. The disciples were confident when Jesus was healing and casting out demons and calling out the Pharisees. Yet, when He chose to appear weak and allow Himself to be crucified, they fled. I’m great in my prayer closet, but what happens when I’m nudged to approach someone I don’t know about the Gospel?

Thankfully, there’s room for improvement. Thankfully, God allows us opportunities to get it right if we’re given a second or third time around. So for me, those failed moments remind me of how fragile my faith is at times. I’m not proud of it, but I do know that God can use my fragility to keep me humble. And He can use it to show me areas of growth so that I can be bold in the faith.

Honestly evaluate yourself. If you find yourself on a pedestal, why? And if you feel like you actually belong there, be careful.

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Be Humble

Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.Ephesians 4:2 NLT

Making allowances isn’t making excuses for people. It’s understanding that we’re human and make mistakes. It’s not a sign of weakness to forgive a person’s mistake. In fact, it’s a sign of strength and humility.

Instead of holding a grudge or tearing someone down, you choose to show them love by forgiving them and being patient.

Remember that you too fall short at times and hope that someone will be patient and forgiving towards you. So, keep that in mind and be humble.

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Jealousy and Selfishness

For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.
James 3:16 NLT

How interesting is this?! Wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition it won’t be hard to find disorder and evil.

If you’re a jealous person, have you ever wondered why chaos seems to encompass you? It’s because the jealousy in you is causing disorder. The longing to be someone else or even see them fail because of your jealousy is causing you grief and sorrow.

If you’re selfish, do you ever wonder why life just seems to work against you? You’re selfishness is the problem. Where there are selfish motives and desires, you will find evil. Not just any evil, but the scripture says evil of every kind.

That’s pretty scary. To think that jealousy and selfishness will result in chaos and every kind of evil should cause us to want to change. It should make us take a step back and examine our lives to see if the evidence is true. If it is, we should humble ourselves, repent, and ask God to create in us a clean heart. One of selflessness and humility. A heart that celebrates others and glorifies and honors God.

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Cockiness Makes You Crazy – Daniel 4

Oh that Nebuchadnezzar would have heeded Daniel’s warning:

You will be driven from human society. You will live in the fields with the wild animals, and you will eat grass like a cow. Seven periods of time will pass while you live this way, until you learn that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world and gives them to anyone he chooses.’ “That same hour the judgment was fulfilled, and Nebuchadnezzar was driven from human society. He ate grass like a cow, and he was drenched with the dew of heaven. He lived this way until his hair was as long as eagles’ feathers and his nails were like birds’ claws. – Daniel 4:32‭-‬33 NLT

King Nebuchadnezzar had allowed his cockiness to get the best of him. Any time we as men and women look back on accomplishments and success and contribute them to our own genius, we should beware. The Bible warns us so much about the risks of pride. We have examples like these as warnings.

The king was so confident in what he’d been able to accomplish. He’d conquered lands, had a growing nation, wealth, and some of the best “wise” men (astrologers, magicians) surrounding him, along with the wisdom of God’s people, like Daniel. He had power and prestige. And he believed it was because he was great. His accomplishments were because of his awesomeness.

In his failure to acknowledge that God allowed any of this, he failed to acknowledge his own humanness. Once man begins to see himself as God, man begins the downward spiral to insanity. When life becomes about how great we are, we can expect the good life to begin to fall apart. Look at the Tower of Babel. Look at Saul, the first King of Israel. Pride got Satan and his crew kicked out of Heaven. Pride leads to problems.

But God in His grace… as God’s beloved creation we have access to grace. And in that grace comes forgiveness from God and for those of us who are aware, an opportunity to repent. Literally, an opportunity to acknowledge our wrongs against God and turn our lives around.

Let’s see what happened when Nebuchadnezzar decided to humble himself and acknowledge God.

“After this time had passed, I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up to heaven. My sanity returned, and I praised and worshiped the Most High and honored the one who lives forever. His rule is everlasting, and his kingdom is eternal. “When my sanity returned to me, so did my honor and glory and kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored as head of my kingdom, with even greater honor than before. “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and glorify and honor the King of heaven. All his acts are just and true, and he is able to humble the proud.” – Daniel 4:34‭, ‬36‭-‬37 NLT

God will humble you, He’d rather not have to humble you by allowing a downfall, but He will. If you find yourself to be high and mighty, might you be careful. That’s the problem with pride, we don’t recognize its takeover until it’s taken off.

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