Monday, April 5, 2021
If I say to you, I think being a humble person will get you further in life than being a person who has to fight and get their own way, you would probably agree with me in a certain sense, but inside privately, you'd question what I have to say.
Monday, April 5, 2021
James 4:6, 10
If I say to you, I think being a humble person will get you further in life than being a person who has to fight and get their own way, you would probably agree with me in a certain sense, but inside privately, you'd question what I have to say. You'd say, "I think if you're humble, you're just going to get run over, or in football language, you're going to get trucked. Why would you be humble?" I mean, we would say that we all know it's good. We know it's right, but we question it in the way we live. So when Jesus says the meek, or the humble, will inherit the earth, we tend to think, "No, that's not true." Even though we know it's true, spiritually, if you look at the way we live, we tend to say the meek or humble will not inherit the earth. They'll be ground into the earth, they'll get run over. I'm here to tell you it's not true. I'm telling you if you'll be a humble person, you'll get a reward.
What is the reward for humility? James tells us in James 4:6 and 10. He tells us the reward that God gives the humble person, and that's, by the way, where the reward comes from. It's not just the natural consequences of life, but a direct reward from God. Listen to this. James 4:6, "That's why the scripture says, 'God opposes the proud. But gives grace to the humble.'" So, humility and pride are the two polar extremes. God resists the proud. Why? The proud say, "I can do it." And God says, "Okay, if you can do it, I'll let you do it. " It doesn't work. But he gives grace to the humble. What does that mean? A humble person is a person who's always thinking less about himself, and more about God and other people. When it says that God gives grace to the humble, what does that mean? Well, grace has two ideas, two shades of meaning to it, or two dimensions, perhaps. The first is that that God will give you undeserved favor. When you act with humility, he'll give you undeserved favor. Think about it. Imagine you go to your boss, and you're asking for a raise, and you say, "Look, I demand a raise, like I need to have a raise, right now. I want a raise, and you need to give me a raise," and you're prideful about it. Or, instead, if you say, "Boss, would you consider giving me a raise? I'm not demanding it. I'm humbly asking," and then you make your case politely, but give him the room to decide, what do you think's going to give you the best chance to get the raise? The humble approach will, not only because it makes sense, but because God will give you the grace.
The second dimension of grace thing is it's divine power. It's not only divine favor, but grace has divine power. So, when we say humble, we tend to think of weak. We tend to think of meek as weak, and of proud as strong. That's not really true. Grace is God's power. Pride is your power. What do you want, your prideful power, or God's power through your humility? I'll take the latter every time. James goes on to say this in verse 10, "Humble yourself before the Lord and He will lift you up." The humility starts with God. Again, pride is you trying to lift yourself up. Good luck with that. Humility is God lifting you up, and God will lift you up to higher places. So here's what I want to say to you. Try operating with a lot less pride, and a lot more humility in your life. How do you do that? Instead of demanding your rights, you say, "Would you consider?" and give people the freedom. Don't go in powerful. Go in with a sense of openness and humility, humble, meek, in your approach. Don't worry about getting run over. You might. But you won't get run over very often, becuase God will lift you up above the trucking that others might apply to your life. I hope this helps you and helps all of us strive to live a more humble life because Jesus Christ Himself was humble and meek, and he gives us rest for our souls, according to Matthew 11:28 and 30.
Let's pray. Father, forgive me for being prideful, and prideful more than I realize. Maybe some of the people listening and watching feel the same way. Help us to operate with humility, to think less of ourselves, but think more of you and more of others. I think when we think more of you and others, before ourselves, you'll take care of us. So help us to be less prideful, and more humble. We thank you for this because we know you'll give us the power and the favor to go further in life than if we try to do it on our own. We ask this in Jesus' name, amen.