ESV - 3 Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.
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Let's not take this to the extreme by saying this is a constant state. I suggest it is only to be applied to a confrontation with another. Humble - being teachable When I put more emphasis on what another is saying other than what I am thinking, I become teachable. That is the way I see this, making others more significant than myself, to become teachable. When the person believes he is great than the teacher, he becomes unteachable.
Humility does not prohibit love of self, or pursuing one's self-interest. To me, it means having a proper appreciation of one's own position in relation to God (who is infinitely greater in every respect compared to any human being), and to other people (who are fallible beings (just as we ALL are) who were also originally created in God's image). I have always liked the thoughts of the English author and Christian commentator C. S. Lewis on the subject of humility and its opposite (pride) in his book Mere Christianity. Lewis said, "Pride means enmity to God. In God you come up against something which is in every respect immeasurably superior to yourself. Unless you know God as that -- and therefore know yourself as nothing in comparison -- you do not know God at all. As long as you are proud, you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you. "God wants you to know Him: wants to give you Himself. And He and you are two things of such a kind that if you really get into any kind of touch with Him, you will, in fact, be humble -- delightedly humble, feeling the infinite relief of having for once got rid of all the silly nonsense about your own dignity which has made you restless and unhappy all your life. He is trying to make you humble in order to make this moment possible: trying to take off a lot of the silly, ugly fancy-dress in which we have all got ourselves up and are strutting about like the little idiots we are, with all our 'Look at me' and 'Aren't I a good boy?' and all the posing and posturing that goes with it. "Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call 'humble' nowadays. He will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody. Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what YOU said to HIM. If you do dislike him, it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all."
For by grace ye are saved, though faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the GIFT of God, not of works, lest any man should boast. We have nothing to boast in because we did nothing for it but believe on His name. Romans 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? Nay, but by the law of FAITH. Jesus paid it all and we paid 0. Amazing grace. We have nothing to boast in but the cross. First John 1:8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive our selves, and the truth is not in us. We have nothing to boast in. We all sin. But Jesus paid for all our sins. Amazing grace. Romans 11:6 His blood sacrifice is continually paying our sin debt in full. Romans 6-8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. If salvation was not a free gift, then we would have something to boast in. Romans 4:2 If Abraham were justified by works, he would have something to glory in, but not before God. Abraham was justified by faith. He had nothing to glory in. Neither do we. Matthew 7:21-23 Not everyone that saith unto me Lord, Lord, will enter the Kingdom, but only those that have done the will of my Father. John 6:40 And this is the will of Him who sent me, that all that seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.
If we claim to be Christians, that is followers of Jesus, then we need to examine the life of Christ in order to learn how to be humble. Philippians 2:5-8 says “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 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!” That means: 1. Don’t use my relationship with God to my own advantage. Thy will be done, never my will be done. Jesus said he only did the things his Father told him to do and only spoke the words his Father gave him to say. 2. Consider myself nothing by becoming a servant. The lowest servant washed the feet of the guests who entered the house. Jesus washed his disciples feet. In our love and devotion for other people, do not judge people of low reputation or standing and do not consider anything beneath us as we serve the needs of others. 3. Become totally obedient to God’s will and purpose for our lives, no matter how much suffering is involved. Jesus said if we wanted to be his disciples we had to deny ourselves, take up our crosses daily and follow him. That means denying our self interest (gratifying sinful desires) and focusing on the interests of others (what do they need). Jesus gave people the good news of the kingdom of God, he healed their diseases and sicknesses and set them free from sin and evil. To his dying breath, Jesus mission was all about saving people and setting them free so they could live an abundant life filled with God’s blessings (fruit of the Spirit). That is own mission too if we are truly his followers. We are at our most humble when we love God (giving thanks and praise, asking for wisdom and guidance) and love other people (delivering the gospel message, meeting their needs with God’s resources).
Humility is a personal quality in which an individual shows dependence on God and respect for other persons. The only humility that is really ours is that which we carry with us, and carry out in our ordinary conduct, such as helping our neighbors. "Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, but everyone who humbles himself shall be exalted"(Luke 14:11); again "God opposes the arrogant, but to the humble He gives grace"(1 Peter 5:6; James 4:6). According to Psalm 51:17' God does not desire outward sacrifices but a humble spirit which shows itself in several ways: (a) Recognition of one's sinfulness before a Holy God. (Is.6:5); (b) Obedience to God (Duet.8:2); (c) Submission to God (2 Kings 2:19). In the New Testament, Yeshua’s (Jesus) life is the best example of what it means to have humility or to be humbled (Matt 11:29; 1Cor. 4:21) and He urged those who desired to live by kingdom standards to practice humility (Matt 18:1). Humility is closely connected with “meekness" (Matt 5:5). God will exalt those who are humble and bring low those who are proud (Luke 1:52) Humility before God is misrepresented if we are not humble in the same manner before man. It is in our relationship with one another and in our treatment of one another that the heart of humility can be seen. The humble man seeks at all times to serve others, does not see himself as better than others, shows love to all mankind, is caring and sharing, and is not selfish. The humble man is not jealous or envious and can gladly and freely praise God even when others are blessed and preferred before him. Above all he shows humility when he can lose himself and find it in God. David said he humbled his soul with fasting and prayer (Psalm 35:13), we therefore should do likewise. Abraham was from heathen country (Gen 12-15) called by God, used by Him and became the father of the nation. He is an example of (a) how to communicate with God as shown when he knew of the destruction of Sodom; (b) Not to hold a grudge----he did not hold grudge against Lot who chose what appeared to be the better land and even went to his rescue when he was in trouble. Moses was a murderer (Ex.2) but was chosen and used to lead the children of Israel out of bandage; was favored by God, spoke with God on a one and one and used to teach the Israelites the way of the Lord. He is an example of humility, patience and tolerance. David was an adulterer and murder who became a man of God’s own heart. He was and is an example of humility, one who accepts responsibility for his actions and shows love and adoration for God. “Let us all “be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessings, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:8-9)
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