Pride and Humility Part 1 - Humble Pie with Ice Cream
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Last week: Honesty is the basis of authentic relationships. Speaking the Truth in love to benefit others is not only something we are commanded to do, but is how we benefit ourselves and glorify God. Humility is the key to honesty and beneficial relationships.
Pride is an improper distorted focus on ourselves, making us insensitive to God and others.
When we are insensitive to God, we live our lives independently of both His will and grace, resulting in distance, discipline, and despair.
When we are insensitive to others we use them and ignore their needs, resulting in isolation, discipline, lack of relationship and blessing.
Humility is a proper, realistic view of ourselves in relation to God (dependent creatures) and others (servant), that allows us to enthusiastically embrace God’s sovereign will (obedience) and focus on serving others’ needs (without thought of our temporal loss or benefit), resulting in deepened intimacy and blessing.
I. Humility is a Christlike mindset necessary for intimacy with God and serving others
A. The humble enjoy God Isa 57:15 For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, To revive the spirit of the humble, And to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
Contrite = crushed to dust so that one particle is not recognizable from the next, akin to a destruction of identity, death to self
Humble = low depression in the ground, lower than it normally or naturally would be, as Christ did in Phil 2. John 15
B. Jesus demonstrated humility by lowering/emptying Himself to serve our greatest needs.
Phil 2:2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in (humility) lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped/held on to (BCV), 7 but made (emptied) Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name
John 13:3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, 4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 5...and began to wash the disciples' feet...
II. Humility starts with a decision we make to submit to God and serve others...refined in daily fires
A. We have the responsibility and command to humble ourselves before God; acknowledging God’s right to rule our every decision: “Not my will by Yours be done” Lk 22:42. Where do wars and fights come from among you...desires for pleasure? Js 4:1
1 Peter 5:6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time (cf Js 4:10)
Rom 12:3...not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soundmindedly... 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord.
B. For true humility we need awareness of:
1. Our initial sinfulness and lack of standing in God’s sight Rom 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (cf Eph 2)
2. Our dependence upon God’s grace for all that is good in our lives 1Cor 4:7 what do you have that you did not receive?...
3. God’s infinitely good plan to make us like Christ and use us for the benefit of others Lk 22:27 I am among you as the One who serves.
Rom 8:28 we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Gen 50:20 you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to...
4. God’s infinite justice that will pay back the aggressors and reward the faithful Rom 2:4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? 5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who "will render to each one according to his deeds": 7 eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality;8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness----indignation and wrath,
C. A humble person is not:
1. Thinking of what other’s think about them even when serving, but are focused on another’s needs, so thanks is irrelevant. Jn 12:43
2. Plotting revenge or embittered over their wounds, but trusting God’s goodness and praying for their enemies’ best (repentance). Rm 12:19
3. A sinful worm who ignores God’s progress and purposes in their life, but a confident soldier of Christ confronting error 1Jn 4:17; 2Tim 2
4. Jealous when others are successful or honored, but limits and sacrifices him/herself to help others reach their goals. Phil 2:17
5. Defensive when rejected, corrected, or wronged but teachable, listening, forgiving, seeking the Truth and growth in Christlikeness. 1Cor 13
Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:
1. How does a lack of humility hinder one’s growth and relationships? How does humility deepen our relationships?
2. What’s the balance between yielding rights and reproving others for their benefit when they trample upon our rights?
3. How does being honest develop humility? How about submission? Does humiliation aid humility?
4. What did Jesus mean when He said: “Apart from Me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5)? What keeps up apart from Christ?
5.What kind of relationships will a person develop who does not view themselves as accountable to God nor a servant of others?