The secrets to humility change how we relate to others. These secrets are: Weakness, Worship Listening Obedience, Confession, Learning not to Boast, Responsibility, Overlooking an Offense, Pain, Asking for Help, Receiving Gifts, Thankfulness, Receiving Compliments, Seeking to Understand, Advice, Yielding an Argument, Understanding Anger, Forgiving, Giving, Serving, Contentment, Waiting, Joy, Kindness, Rest, The Right Fear, Salvation and Clothed.
Does the above list seem impossible to accomplish? Good, because it is. We cannot humble ourselves with our own power. Owning our inability to make ourselves humble actually moves us closer to true humility. Realizing our limitations, we cry out to God for help, placing ourselves under His mighty hand.
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him Who called us by His Own glory and goodness. II Peter 1:3
The humility list could continue indefinitely. Any circumstance beyond our ability teaches us humility. When bad things happen, let us rejoice! Yes, rejoice in the bad things that happen to us. God uses them to develop humility in our character. (James 1:2-4) We need humility to receive the good things God has for us as gifts. Faith, hope and love (I Corinthians 13:13) also become a part of our character. These four traits work together.
A secret for losing humility is to talk about how good we are at it. (Luke 18:12) Even if we are not boasting about how humble we have made ourselves, talking about humbling ourselves can open our hearts to seeking praise from men rather than praise from God. In reminding one another of the need to humble ourselves we need to be sensible of the temptation toward claiming credit.
We resist humbling ourselves. Humbling ourselves can be agonizing because we become aware of the shame as well as the other feelings and memories that go with it. Pride masks our shame. Letting go of pride makes us vulnerable. Allowing ourselves to look at all of this is a step in the process of finding freedom from pride, shame and perfectionism. We allow ourselves to heal when we let go of denying our shame. We can respond to shame either with humility or with pride. Shame is masked by pride. We are not freed from shame by pride. God liberates us with humility. We are freed from shame as we humble ourselves under His mighty hand. (1 Peter 5:6)
Realizing I have lots to let go of,
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Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we have been comforted.
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The seventh secret to finding humility is: Overlooking offenses.
A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11
Pride comes from shame. Shame affects how we view peoples’ behavior towards us. Pride makes us overly sensitive to offenses. When we are in our pride and shame we most often attribute negative motives to others and judge them. We want to correct those who have offended us and we feel impatient with them. However, we are the ones who need correcting when we judge others. We need to get the logs out before we attempt to correct anyone else. (Matthew 7:3-5)
Our own shame leads us to interpret others as being offensive. Shame comes from storehouses of memories in our hearts. These memories can trigger us by reminding us of times during which we felt shame. We do not need to consciously remember what happened in the past to feel shame in the present. Just knowing where shame came from can help us let go of it. The bad news is, we cannot free ourselves from shame. The good news is, by God’s grace and through humility, we can let go of shame.
The book Humility by Andrew Murray has given me powerful ideas. He says that we cannot make ourselves humble. We cannot use these “secrets” of humility to make ourselves humble. Rather, we allow them to highlight the ways in which we are not humble. God alone works true humility in us. “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom…But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of [rightness]” (James 3:13, 17-18)
When we realize that we have taken an offense we confess this to God, ask Him to free us and then ask Him to work His humility in us. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all [unrightness].” (I John 1:9)
Even if someone intentionally offends us, we do well to overlook it. When we believe their view of us is less than what we think we deserve we try to improve how we look to them. Catering to others’ opinions only has the opposite effect, however, and leads to a lower opinion of us in their eyes. And when we feel offended, we tend to be offending towards others. We become like Jesus when we remain silent in the face of unjust accusations. We can choose, through His power, to overlook an offense. (Matthew 26:59-63)
Hoping I didn’t offend anyone by this post,
WITH ME: Wisdom Intercession Teaching Hospitality Mercy Encouragement
Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; comforting others with the comfort, which we received. We have a dream & need support and prayers.
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The fifth secret to finding humility is: Learning not to boast.
Now, brothers and sisters, I’ve applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not be a puffed up follower of one of us over against the other. For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? I Corinthians 4:7
Our hearts may feel empty and alone. We try to fill ourselves with positive thoughts, but they don’t make us feel better. We proceed to compare ourselves with others. We may feel a little better, but comparison leads to pride and an inflated view of self. Pride, at least, feels better than its flip side, shame. We have learned to boast to keep ourselves in this “up” state. This pride truly locks us into shame. Humility helps us find genuine freedom.
We can so easily fall back into boasting. Shouldn’t we get credit for the good we do? We try to combat our shame by feeling good about our accomplishments but to no avail. Instead, we need to take the path of humility so as to find relief from our shame. If we humble ourselves before God, He will lift us up. (I Pet. 5:6) We need to trust Him. (Prov. 29: 25)
We don’t even realize when we boast because it has become a habit. It comes naturally. We don’t think about our boastful thoughts as we constantly compare ourselves to others. We rate ourselves based on these comparisons.
Alternatively, we can commend others. We need to avoid our tendency to laud ourselves. We need to look for the contributions others bring, tell them how they have enhanced the world around them and thank them for these contributions. Instead of craving accolades let’s give them. “Love your neighbor as yourself…and in humility value others above yourselves.” (Matthew 22:39…Philippians 2:3 emphasis mine) Keep in mind, if no one repays the favor, great! We then have an opportunity to humble ourselves.
Above all, we need to give the highest tribute to God. He is the Author of everything good. (James 1:17) Giving God worship, praise and thanksgiving will go against our tendency to credit ourselves. Any qualities we possess (intelligence, attractiveness, athletic prowess, musicality and other talents), we received as gifts from God.
Acknowledging my tendency to boast,
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Bringing grace and truth to the downcast; reflecting the light we have received so that others can better see. We have a dream & need support and prayers.
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