There are just two jobs:
You get to choose one of them.
God’s preference is that you would humble yourself, so that He can do His job of lifting you up. Problems come when you choose the wrong job and exalt yourself because then God picks up the only other job that’s available, and that is to humble you!
Did you know that God delights in promoting you? In exalting you? In lifting you up, not putting you down?
If you think I’m teaching heresy, just check out:
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. (1 Peter 5)
10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. (James 4)
11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. (Luke 14)
Do you see that there’s a reward for those who humble themselves? God promotes them. He loves nothing more than raising up humble people.
Did you know that God wants you to live a great life? He actually wants you to pursue a life of greatness! Jesus never said to his followers, ‘Don’t aim at living a great life!’ He said ‘Whoever wants to be great….’ and then redefined what greatness looks like. It looks like a servant. It looks like humility.
There are two jobs:
You get to choose one. God then picks up the other.
You know, I wonder whether one of the key reasons we often resort to choosing the second job and end up ‘exalting ourselves’ is that we don’t trust in God’s timing. We choose self-promotion because we don’t have faith that God will ‘lift us up in due time.’ We don’t trust in God’s desire to promote us, so we choose pride and fight to promote ourselves!
I want to be someone whose default setting is to choose humility.
Humility is not a difficult thing to define.
C.S. Lewis helped us when he wrote, ‘True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.’
Humility is more difficult to live-out without slipping into false-humility.
I have found that…
- …Humility is found in the THANKFUL person who doesn’t feel entitled or deserving of anything, but they overflow with gratitude because of the good things they find in their lives.
- …Humility is found in the TEACHABLE person because they know that they don’t have all the answers but have a whole-load to learn.
- …Humility is found in the person who finds it easy to say SORRY because they know they make as many mistakes as they get things right.
- …Humility is found in the person who REJOICES IN THE SUCCESSES OF OTHERS because they know that they don’t need to be the centre of attention all the time.
- …Humility is found in the person who accepts CORRECTION WITHOUT TAKING OFFENCE because they know they sometimes get it wrong.
- …Humility is found in the person who actually PRAYS, because they know that they can’t live without the peace, provision and power of God.
- …Humility is found in the person who chooses to move in the OPPOSITE SPIRIT. Who rejects arrogance and pride. Who humbles themselves before the Lord and patiently waits for Him to lift them up.
There are two jobs.
One of the best bits of advice I’ve been given as a church leader who finds himself in a ministry culture where leaders and churches easily slip into self-promotion went something like: ‘You take care of your DEPTH, and God will take care of your BREADTH’. In other words, if you take care of prioritising a deep relationship with God, then you can sit back and allow Him to determine how much influence you will have. Great advice right there!