by Pradha Chakravarthy
It’s possible for us to set a personal standard of humility, and think that we are humble. The result is that we live with pride that the Lord hates. Scripture clearly tells us, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6), and “Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; assuredly, he will not be unpunished” (Proverbs 16:5).
This is a great danger that we could think we are walking in humility, but actually be full of pride. I have seen that being humble once or twice can make me actually feel proud of being humble! I see the need to dwell in humility always. If I am sensitive enough, I will recognize that when I do not have grace, it is because I am lacking humility. Then I must repent and humble myself before the Lord, in order to receive His grace. Without Him I can do nothing that pleases Him. Many times I fail to recognize that I am proud because I am able to accomplish things in the flesh – even seemingly “good” works – and remain satisfied with that. But if I seek to do things that please the Father and are of eternal value, then I will see my tremendous need of God’s grace, which I can only receive if I am humble.
Am I satisfied with the good works that I do, and the approval of other Christians? Or, am I seeking to be truly humble and receive grace to live this life of obedience, pleasing our Father in heaven alone?
Living in humility before God
Jesus, our Forerunner, lived His life on earth in perfect humility before the Father. For example, we see in Matthew 26, that before Jesus was captured by the guards, He took His disciples to the garden of Gethsemane and asked them to watch and pray with Him.
- Jesus was so humble, that even though He was the Son of God, He prayed to the Father – both secretly and openly. He plainly showed us that He was dependent on God to accomplish that which was given to Him by His Father. The only way to be a godly woman, wife, or mother is to seek God’s face in humility and receive grace to do so. Otherwise our selfish ambition, jealousy, and pride can drive us to destruction, or worse, into deception.
- Jesus also asked His disciples to pray with Him. If we seek to be humble, we will see our need of other believers who are in fellowship with us.
- In Matthew 26:43, we read that He prayed the same prayer three times. He was waiting until He heard from His Father. If we seek to be humble we will always wait until the Lord answers.
- Jesus had a closer relationship with His Father than with anyone else, and He always sought to do the Father’s will. Only the Father’s will always mattered to Him, even if the whole world misunderstood Him. The cup that Jesus asked to be taken away from Him was not physical death or the humiliation He would suffer, but separation from His Father which He would face on the cross. He took that cup in humility, in order to do His Father’s will. If we seek to be humble likewise, we will strive to be closest to God and obey Him in complete submission.
Living in humility with the world
- Jesus lived His life exactly the way the Father planned it out for Him, and completely trusted His Father that that plan was best. If we seek to be humble, we too will be content with the way God has planned for us, and never complain or compare our lives with that of others.
- Jesus, Who had the authority to judge while He was on this earth, chose instead to forgive and love. If we seek to be humble we will choose forgiveness and love over judging others or allowing bitterness to secretly build up in our hearts.
- Jesus spoke the truth to the Pharisees out of humility. If we seek to be humble, we will not try to please men, nor will we be deceived by false humility.
- Jesus chose to wash His disciples’ feet. If we seek to be humble we will live in the same unselfish way within the body of Christ.
“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:5-8).
May we not be deceived in these last days, but seek to have the humility that was in Jesus Christ. Then we will receive grace and favor from God to live this life pleasing to Him as a living sacrifice.