Today, I thought I would take a little bit of a break from the regularly scheduled ‘Take Care of Your Temple Tuesday’ to talk about this topic that is tough but definitely worth discussing.
Of course, check out Lyss’s post over at Cayanne’s blog for our weekly collab because Lyss always has some really awesome thoughts on body image and what it looks like to take care of your mind, body, and soul in a balanced, healthy, joyful way!
Humility isn’t an easy topic, because pride comes easily to me. I like to pride myself on myself. I like to pat myself on the back and give myself ‘glory’ for the things I’ve done, but the more the Lord has grown me in the past 23 years, the more I’ve realized how hurtful my selfish pride has been and how precious and beautiful real humility is.
This would kind of be in continuation with the series of ‘bold blog posts’ that I talked about here.
But there is also ‘false’ humility that likes to disguise itself as humility. It’s another form of … pride. We’ll talk about that in a bit.
First I want to just share some really heart searching verses about humility.
James 4:10 says, ‘Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.’
Micah 6:8 says, ‘He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?’
The more I read the Word, the precious Word that my Heavenly Father left for His children here on earth, through which He speaks to us, the more I realized that pride is never a good thing when I’m boasting in myself.
The one time that boasting actually seems really good is when Paul boasts, not in himself, but in something else.
In Galatians 6:14-15 Paul testifies to the only person, the only One he wants to boast in, ‘But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whoma] the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.’
Does that mean that I should never take pleasure or be thankful in the gifts that God has given me?
But it does mean that I didn’t get these gifts myself. They were gifts.
In Romans 12:3, I was so preciously reminded that these gifts, these things I have are not something I can boast in because they came from me because they came from a gracious and kind God.
‘For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith’ (Romans 12:3)
These lessons about humility freed me.
1. They freed me to not be laser focused on myself and my ‘accomplishments’ because they are all a result of God’s AWESOME work in my life.
2. They freed me to wonder and praise and jump for joy at the thought of ALL the wondrous works God has done, including the most PRECIOUS gift of the living bread.
‘“He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.’ (Deuteronomy 8:3)
3. They freed me to actually understand grace. Before, when I thought so highly of myself, I didn’t realize that I was a wretch. I’m not being falsely humble here. I’m being truthful. Think of Paul. Paul called himself, ‘the chief of sinners.’ Paul declared in 1 Corinthians 15:9-10, ‘For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.’
This blows me away. Paul was a mighty apostle, a mighty vessel of God, but he knew what he was without the grace of God. He persecuted the church. He hated God’s people. He knew that we were enemies of God, and that’s what made him wonder at the grace of God.
I can’t even tell you how wonderful it is when you begin to see yourself in the light of Who God is. It humbles you.
‘This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.’ (1 John 1:5)
4. Then it freed me to really be FLOORED by the fact that the Holy Awesome God of the Universe who doesn’t need me to complete Him, who is complete in all His attributes, holiness, glory, goodness, truth, might, power,and dominion, CHOSE to show mercy on me.
Doesn’t that just make you go, ‘WHAT?!?’ WOW.
I can’t explain it. I don’t know why. I want to say with the Psalmist in Psalm 19, ‘What is man that thou art mindful of him?’
5. I could keep going, but I’m not going to multiply word upon word. I’m going to finish with this last thought that just makes me silent.
Being released from pride about myself to boast in the cross of Jesus Christ, who came to die and show compassion on God’s enemies like me, made me want to know God’s kindness.
‘At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life’ Titus 3:3-7
That God would show kindness to me is absolutely amazing, and that’s what keeps me humble, especially when the PRIDE meter is going UP and UP and making me miserable.
It leaves me lost in wonder, love, and praise.
Then what does ‘false’ humility look like?
Boy, oh boy, this one is hard, but I think this is something that I’m learning.
A. ‘False’ Modesty looks like me not responding at all when people thank me or praise me. I feel uncomfortable, and so I just don’t respond instead of PRAISING God for the gifts that He has given me.
B. ‘False’ Modesty is trying to ‘put myself down’ constantly instead of thinking, ‘WOW God gave me these gifts… Isn’t it such an awesome thing to get to use these for Him?’
C. ‘False’ Modesty is JUST focusing on the ‘wretch’ part of before I was saved by God’s grace and not remembering that Christ Jesus in me is now my HOPE. I’m not the person I used to be. Without God I am NOTHING, but in God I am a child, a soldier, a warrior in His army.
D. ‘False’ Modesty has lacked GRATEFULNESS for me. I’m so ‘down on everything’ that I don’t praise the Lord and fall down in awe and joy and thankfulness for the mercy and kindness that He has POURED, literally poured into my life.
False modesty is not being grateful for the body God gave me and made and the life He has redeemed from destruction. It was destroying my body for the sake of ‘being healthy’ when I was really just being selfish.
And this wouldn’t change if I was living in a hut, because God’s mercy fills your soul. It’s not just external. God’s life given through the Lord Jesus Christ fills every part of your being. In Him are so many riches, that I can’t really express it.
So I’m going to boast really big, and I can’t ever boast enough in the cross of Jesus Christ, the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, the mercy of God, the awesomeness of my Heavenly Father that my lips can’t even say.
‘Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits— who forgiveth all thine iniquities, who healeth all thy diseases, who redeemeth thy life from destruction, who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies,
who satisfieth thy mouth with good things, so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. He made known His ways unto Moses, His acts unto the children of Israel. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy.’ (Psalm 103:1-8)
And real humility, the journey in learning real humility has given me so much hope and ability to not look at myself and rejoice in Jesus and be filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit.
False modesty is always miserable, but humility is a gift. It’s a gift of God.
By no means am I perfect in this. I struggle to not swell up with pride when someone praises me. I struggle to not get all self consumed when people ask me about when I ran a ‘marathon.’ I had to really check myself when I wrote that post on skydiving to make sure that I wasn’t ‘bragging’ about going skydiving.
I really don’t want to write these things and make you think that I am more ‘humble’ than you or really humble. Pride is the battle I fight everyday, but in the might of the Lord Jesus Christ I am equipped to fight this battle. The humility of the Lord Jesus gives me hope that I can fight for humility too.
Do you struggle with being truly humble?
What are some of the gifts God has given you that you are grateful for?
What makes you REJOICE everyday?
What does false modesty look like? What does true humility look like?
And I get to link up with all the bloggers at the ‘Faith Filled Friday‘ next week! <3