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Reaching For Humility

Humility is commanded by God. This is not an option with God. Pride violates the commands of God and the example of Jesus.

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. (James 4:10)

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you.(1 Peter 5:6)

And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:8)

I understand the things I am about to write will be difficult. But I hope you will consider these things. The lack of humility is a large, pervasive problem. If you want to talk about a pandemic, let’s talk about the pandemic of pride.

Unwittingly, we have allowed pride to grow and invade our lives. Pride has begun to swallow us up. Christians still think that we are called to humility and that pride is an evil thing. It is not that we have misunderstood God’s command to be humble. Rather, it is that we have allowed pride’s little brother to take root in our lives. Pride’s little brother is self-esteem.

Everyone thinks that need to have a good, healthy self-esteem. We need to think good of ourselves. We need to have a healthy self-image. We need to feel good about ourselves. Consider the following quotations from our current world:

“A human being’s first responsibility is to shake hands with himself.” — Henry Winkler

“When you undervalue who you are, the world will undervalue what you do and vice versa.” — Suze Orman

“We teach people how to treat us.” – Dr. Phil McGraw

“You cannot be who and what you are unless you have a lifestyle, both internally and externally, that is designed to support that definition of self.” – Dr. Phil McGraw

“Sometimes you just got to give yourself what you wish someone else would give you.” – Dr. Phil McGraw

“Every time you suppress some part of yourself or allow others to play you small, you are in essence ignoring the owner’s manual your creator gave you and destroying your design.” – Oprah

The consequences of people believing these words can be readily seen on the reality television show, American Idol. I will confess that I love watching the first few episodes of each season of American Idol. The reason is that every season there are deluded people standing there with their families auditioning as singers for the show. The problem is that they are horrible singers. Their families think they are terrific singers. “You ought to hear them in the shower.” No one will tell the person he or she is terrible because we don’t want to ruin their self-esteem. We want everyone to “feel good about themselves.” So then they have a reality check as professional music artists and music producers tell the person that they are terrible. Do they believe the words of the professionals? No, they have been so conditioned in this delusion that they continue on in life thinking they are great, though they are terrible.

We have a grave problem: self-esteem. We think there are things we deserve. We think the world’s problem is that everyone has low self-esteem and if we could give everyone a higher self image, everything would be better. We see this foolishness perpetuated in ourselves and in our children. Perhaps this is too harsh of a reality check, but we need it. You cannot be anything you want to be. You cannot do anything you set your mind to do. I cannot be a professional basketball player just because I want to be one. I cannot be professional basketball player if I set my mind to it. I was not given the talent. I tried when I was young. I played competitive basketball into high school. But I did not have enough talent to compete with others.

Perhaps you have seen where some schools don’t want to give “F’s” to children in school anymore because it can be damaging to their self-esteem. What? But this is where we have come in society. We are going to reward bad behavior. We are going to reward a lack of effort.

The problem is that everyone says we need to have good self-esteem. But as I end this post, please consider: Where do the scriptures teach that the human problem is a lack of self-esteem or a poor self-image? Also, think about how the above quotations from Suze Orman, Dr. Phil, Oprah, and the like are contrary to the teachings of the scriptures.

I will continue this post in the days to come….