“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” So, it behooves us to be humble before Our Maker and one another. It is written that we should honor one another above ourselves. Another translation says “outdo one another in showing honor.”
Wouldn’t life be sweet if the only competition between us was the competition to see who could bestow the most honor on the others. There is a quote that says, “a man is never honored by what he received in life, but by what he gave in life.”
There are at least three New Testament imperatives, if we are to walk humbly before God and one another. The first imperative is humility regarding our view of ourselves. The second is humility regarding our view of others. The third is humility regarding our relationship with Our Father.
The first, humility regarding our view of ourselves, is addressed in Romans 12, where we are told not to think more highly of ourselves than we should, that we should think of ourselves with sober judgement according to the measure of faith that we have been given. Worldly pride comes into play when we measure ourselves by our worldly possessions or position. If instead we will examine our hearts and see how dependent we are on the measure of faith that we have been given, it will sober us up very quickly. In I Corinthians 4, Paul writes that if everything that we have is a gift, why should we boast as if we had something to do with it?
In that same passage, he asks, “what makes us any different from anyone else?” Which brings us to our second imperative, humility regarding our view of others. We are told in Philippians 2 that we should consider others better than ourselves. We might wonder why it doesn’t say that we should consider ourselves equal to others. The problem is that this aim still keeps us in a comparison mode, which eventually lead us to feel better or worse than others, both equally fatal conclusions. If we will humbly obey Our Father and view all others as better than ourselves, we will drive a dagger into the heart of self centered pride once and for all.
Having said that, there are scriptural allowances for feeling a sense of “humble pride” in our Godly leaders and even in ourselves when we are bearing one another’s burdens and fulfilling the law of Christ. It goes on to say that this sense of personal fulfillment makes no comparison between ourselves and others.
The third imperative, if we are to live in humility, is humility before Our Creator. Peter tells us to “humble ourselves before God, that he may exalt us in due time, casting all of our cares upon him, for he cares for us.” We are to live in humble submission to Our Father and Our Lord Jesus, which means that we are to come to him humbly with all of our needs, trusting that he will take care of us. Trying to take care of our own needs can be a sign of self sufficient pride. Humility before God also means that we are concerned that he be glorified; we cease to be concerned about our own glory or greatness, even as we make his glory, his kingdom, and his pleasure our goal in life.
So, we think of ourselves with sober judgement according to the measure of faith that we have been given; we consider others better than ourselves, and we humbly submit our lives and cares to Our Most Gracious and Loving Heavenly Father. Surely, this is the pathway to peace with God and man.
~ Brad Heilhecker