Journal Matt 23 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” Matt 23:12
Observation: Easy to say, harder to do, although I would rather give humbling myself a go first rather than God humbling me…
Application: Being humble is different than humbling myself, going through a process so that I would become humble.
To humble myself, I would think identifying where I am not humble (in particulars) would be necessary.
Is pride the opposite of humble? Seems that would be a Homer Simpson moment of clarity. What does it say in the scriptures? I guess I must define both. Pride first (but only 5 references):
- Is speech that is contemptuous: “Let the lying lips be mute, which speak insolently against the righteous in pride and contempt” Ps 31:18
- Is arrogance and perversion: “The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.” Prov 8:13
- Is destructive, condescending, and snooty: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Prov 16:18
- Is deceptive and misleading: “The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rock, in your lofty dwelling, who say in your heart, ‘Who will bring me down…?” Obadiah 3a
- Pride is not holy, far from it: “For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and the pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.” 1 John 2:16
All pride in Man stems from this: “But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it (the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge) your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God…” Gen 3:4-5
Thinking that I am like God, is an exhilarating thing, right? Enough to have pride all over the place, not needing God.
What about humility? Humility is understanding and considering Who is Preeminent and it is not me. Here goes 5-ish:
- Don’t get them flipped: “Humility comes before honor” Prov 15:33b and Prov 18:12b
- It is something to be sought: “…seek righteousness, seek humility…” Zeph 2:3
- “Only fear the LORD and serve him faithfully will all your heart. For consider what great things HE has done for you.” 1 Sam 12:24.
- “Hear this, O Job: stop and consider the wondrous works of God.” Job 37:14
- “In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider; God has made the one as well as the other…” Ecc 7:14
There is a descriptive attitude about humility to be found:
- “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others.” Phil 2:3-4
Lastly, a word bubbled up: Contentment. Pride and humility have contentment involved:
- “Because he knew no contentment in his belly, he will not let anything in which he delights escape him.” Job 20:20 Sounds like a precursor to Pride?
- “But godliness with contentment is great gain…” 1 Tim 6:6 If I can rest in the Cross and the Gospel of God alone, I can put the sin of Pride in its place…
Prayer: Holy Spirit, this is way easier to write about than do. I think about the 24 elders surrounding the throne referenced in Rev 4:10-11:
- “…the 24 elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. The cast their crowns before the throne, saying: ‘Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things…”
My goodness, these guys had their heads on straight!! Please refine me that I may have my head on as straight.
Ricky Two Shoes