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When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. Proverbs 11:2
As we observe Holy Week, the week before Easter, I am always exceptionally emotional. More so than usual if you can believe that.
This year, the thing glaring at me when I study the life of Jesus, is His humility.
We don't really like this word, do we?
It makes us cringe sometimes.
Every decision I make, I have to remember to ask God to filter out any and all pride related to the decision. If I see an ounce of pride, I have to re-think the decision. Pride is not our friend and never will be.
Pride is the exact opposite of humility. Pride haunts and hovers over everything we do if we are not careful. It's the poison that can become our downfall.
"Pride goes before destruction. A haughty spirit before a fall." Proverbs 16:8
Whew, that verse will keep things in check, won't it?
We think a lot of ourselves. Too much actually. And we tend to think the world revolves us at times. What a dizzying concoction of misery--this thing called pride. It will never be good for us. So, why do we keep falling in it and all over it?
Pride ruins and destroys relationships. Pride keeps us from forgiveness. Pride keeps us from true fellowship with others. Pride keeps us from fulfilling our God-given purpose if we are not careful.
Humility creates fellowship. Humility attracts others to us. Humility is forgiving. Humility is not self-seeking. Humility shows grace where no grace can seem to be mustered up. Humility brings life where pride has brought death. Humility brings us to our knees in thankfulness.
Humility is hard to understand. It goes against our human nature. We want to be noticed. We want to be acknowledged. We want to be known. We like that pat on the back when we have done something well. We like to be seen with the "right" people. It makes us look good to others.
Jesus wanted none of these things. He hung out with all the "wrong" people. The people that were unnoticed. Not popular and certainly not sought after.
My ten year old daughter struggles with the this very thing at times. Just the other night, with tears in her blue eyes, she asked me to pray that she "would not care what others thought of her." My insides flipped a little. Boy, oh boy. I needed to pray that same prayer for myself.
I told her we were going to pray for humble hearts--for both of us. Instead of caring what others think of us, caring more about others.
As I study the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, just days before his death, we see humility played out in his life. Once again.
He chose to ride a small horse, a colt, into town.
Why not a full-grown white or black horse? Why not a huge parade with chariots?
That wasn't His way.
He was not doing this for a show. He was doing this out of love. His love for us.
He wept for this town. He wept for us.
Jesus knew what was coming, yet He didn't scream from the rooftops how wrong the people were. How they would be sorry for their lack of belief.
Instead, He wept for them.
Do we love people enough to weep for them? Or are we to too loudly judging and condemning them for their behavior. Or just plain choose to ignore them because they are not worth our breath or our presence.
It's a strange thing, humility.
In order to truly be humble, we must think of others instead of ourselves. We must put their needs before ours. We must want more for them than we want for ourselves.
How is this possible?
By the Holy Spirit acting within us. This is the only way.
Humility any other way is not authentic.
It's a risky prayer, isn't it? To pray for humility?
Oh, but it's what we need.
Jesus is our example.
Let's follow His way, shall we?