A characteristic that is not really cheered on here in America. We're Americans. American pride and all that.
Humility is not something we like to talk about or encourage. It certainly isn't something we want to teach our children. Stand up for yourself, be proud of who you are, don't be weak, don't be so mousy, be tough. Show pride in your work, how you dress, what you think, what you believe.
And yet, God wants me to be humble. I read that this morning. Be humble. Seriously God, in America? Humble?
I see the synonyms for humble are: demure, down-to-earth, lowly, meek, modest, unassuming, unpretentious
The antonyms of humble paint quite a different picture: arrogant, bumptious, chesty, conceited, egotistic or egotistical, fastuous, haughty, highfalutin (that really is a word!), high-and-mighty, high-handed, high-hat, hoity-toity, huffish, huffy, imperious, lordly, overweening, peremptory, pompous, presuming, presumptuous, pretentious, self-asserting, self-assertive, supercilious, superior, toplofty, uppish, uppity.
Even the words for humble are less than the words that describe the opposite.
The definition of humble is
1. not proud or haughty; not arrogant or assertive
2. reflecting, expressing, or offered in a spirit of deference or submission
3a. ranking low in a hierarchy or scale: insignificant, unpretentious
b. not costly or luxurious
As I often do here and like to do, look up the Hebrew and Greek words and find some wow part of it that really makes the verse speak, but even the word humble in both original languages and the variations that it is used both in the Old and New Testaments mean what the word is defined in English.
Pretty much every thing you can think humble means is right. Basically, to be brought low. What we are taught to be prideful in or about, humble is the opposite. When we are being prideful of our pride, side-by-side next to humble it doesn't look good for us. It looks even worse when we're prideful of our humility.
I'm believing God wants to give me some freedom in knowing this truth though. It's freeing to be humble is what I'm learning and being reminded.
All those words to describe the opposite? Those look like words that I'd have to do a LOT of confessing and repenting around the actions that come with them. I'm looking for freedom, folks. Freedom to live freely without fear that my prideful actions will be my downfall.
A few years ago I read a book on humility, written by Andrew Murray. The name of the book was Humility. I took a sheet of paper and wrote out some passages then from that book and this I'll share with you, whoever is still reading this - it's a hard topic to digest, I know - here.
(It's always hard to see where I need to be humbled, but God showed me the blessing that comes with it and to remind me of it again years later. I hope you are blessed today, if even for just reading this to the end).
From the pages of the book, Humility by Andrew Murray:
His(Jesus') humility is my salvation. His salvation is my humility.
Humility is the only soil in which the graces root; the lack of humility is the sufficient explanation of every defect and failure. Humility is not so much a grace or virtue along with others: it is the root of all; because it alone assumes the right attitude before God and allows Him as God to do all.
Humility is the sense of entire nothingness, which comes when we see how truly God is all and in all, and in which we make way for God to be all.
Jesus lost nothing by giving everything to God.
Humility is one of the chief and the highest graces. It is one of the most difficult to attain, and one to which our first and greatest efforts ought to be directed.
Humility is only where we, like the Son, truly know and show that we can do nothing of ourselves, that God will do all.
Humility makes the soul fear that it would dishonor Him by not trusting Him wholly.
The highest glory of man is in being only a vessel, to receive and enjoy and show forth the glory of God. It can do this only as it is willing to be nothing in itself so that God may be all. Water always fills the lowest places first. The lower, the emptier a man lies before God, the speedier and the fuller the inflow of the divine glory will be.
Here's what God says about the word humble. If you're looking for something to do on a lazy Saturday you might dig around in these places.
Exodus 10:3; Numbers 12:3; Deuteronomy 8:2,16; 2 Samuel 22:28; 1 Kings 11:39; 2 Chronicles 7:14; 33:23; 36:12; Ezra 8:21; Job 8:7; 40:12; Psalm 18:27; 25:9; 147:6; 149:4; Proverbs 3:34; 6:3; Isaiah 13:11; 23:9; 29:19; 58:5; 66:2; Daniel 4:37; 5:19; 10:12; Zephaniah 2:3; 3:12; Matthew 11:29; Luke 1:48; 1:52; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Ephesians 4:2; James 1:9; 4:6; 4:10; 1 Peter 3:8; 5:5; 5:6.
That's just Humble, other variations like humbled, humbles, humbly I'll put here another time.
The beauty of knowing when our hearts are not humble, yet very prideful, is that because of Jesus there is Free forgiveness. You don't have to be bogged down with a guilty conscience today - you can be set free and given a restart button to push. I'll be prideful again, so will you, but Jesus has given us the freedom to trust Him to give us what we need to be the humble people He sees us as. He loves you and has set you free to live in humility. True humility. True freedom. He died so we can live Free!