Philadelphia Church

Humility

But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” James 4:6

There are few things more important to the Christian walk than humility. There is not a person alive whom God can’t use, if only he or she will humbly come before Him and allow Him to move and direct their life in whatever way He pleases. One may be tempted to think that humility in this sense leaves one vulnerable to oppression and tyranny. This may seem to be the case from a superficial glance, but even a brief encounter with someone who is truly humble will show that humility is, in fact, the complete opposite of oppressive. The humble person seems to enjoy life on a whole new plane, finding wisdom, insight, and joy in the most unlikely of places.
 
This raises a question: if humility is such an admirable quality, why is it that few pursue it? There are a great many good things that admirable men pursue, but humility does not seem to be among them. I believe that the primary reason that humility is ranked low on the average man’s list of virtues is because most have a false perception  of humility. One might think of a humble man as someone who has a difficult time receiving a compliment, or someone who puts the needs of others above his own to the point of self-harm. Though the world may see these things as acts of humility, this is not the biblical definition.

A close examination of Scripture and history will show that the one defining  quality of all those whom  God has used and praised is humility. Moses, possibly the most influential person in history apart from Christ Himself, was commended for being the most humble man among his contemporaries. Though David was flawed and made many mistakes throughout his life, God was able to use him to do the impossible simply because he was not afraid to humble  himself and ask for forgiveness. An extra-biblical example is John Bunyan, who came from humble beginnings and left this world in that same spirit of humility. In spite of Bunyan’s lack of formal education, God used him to write the beloved Christian classic The Pilgrim's Progress, which until just a few decades ago was the second best selling book in history after the Bible.
Finally, if you’re looking for the perfect example of humility, look no further than Christ Himself. The Apostle Paul, speaking of Christ, emphasizes this facet of Christ’s character in his letter to the Philippians:

“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:6-8)

It’s interesting to note that the qualities that defined Christ’s humility were obedience and selflessness. This brings to light an important truth about genuine humility. As C.S. Lewis once said, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” In order to walk in humility, we must die to ourselves daily, taking the focus off of our own desires and directing ourselves toward the heart of God. In doing this, we open up the door of our own hearts, allowing the grace of God to flow in and through us for His glory, and for the benefit of those around us.
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