Monday, May 28, 2012
Oh Lord, it's REALLY hard to be humble...
"Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up." -- James 4:10
The word humble or humbled is used 56 times in the Bible. I have found that when a word or idea is repeated in the Bible, it has certain significance. The verse above says if we humble ourselves, the Lord will lift us up. First of all, what does it mean to HUMBLE yourself?
The definition of the word humble is:
* adjective - not proud or haughty; not arrogant or assertive
* reflecting expressing or offered in a spirit of deference or submission
* ranking low in hierarchy or scale; insignificant
* not costly or luxurious
* verb - to make someone humble in spirit or manner; to destroy the independece or prestige of
That's a lot submissive words, and pretty couter-cultural! In our world, we are taught to be proud, to NOT submit, we love luxury, we love having significance and we certainly love independence. So, if we are to humble ourselves, how do we do that when we are taught from birth to be proud?
I think the key is to look at that important phrase "...before the Lord..." God is all knowing, always present and all powerful. When we know this in our hearts and learn to give HIM the glory for all we have, for all we do, for all we want to have and do, then we are taking the first steps of humbline ourselves. More importantly, when we give up control of our lives and learn to rely on God for everything, THEN he will lift us up.
But, I can't see, hear or touch God. How can I give him control of my life when I can't tell if He is there or not? Oh, he's there, alright! Giving up control means that you go to God about EVERYTHING you do. It is NOT easy! I have a friend who has lost over 140 pounds. When I ask her how she has done it, she says she has learned to pray to God about everything that goes into her mouth, and she has found that by doing that, not as much junk goes in her mouth now. I thought, what a great idea...I will try that! Well...it is NOT that easy. We forget how automatically we do things, especially eating. We just do it without thinking. Remembering to say a little word of prayer before stuffing those chips in your mouth is a lot easier said than done. But, as my friend has proved, it IS possible. It takes practice, and intention, and faith that it will work.
God has proven to me over and over that when I REMEMBER to put HIM first and me second, he does help me and he does lift me up. I dont' know why I forget that from time to time and go back to my old independent and arrogant self, thinking I can handle things on my own, but I do, over and over again.
Over and over again...God is always faithful. It is us who forgets. He reminds us 56 times in the Bible that we should humble ourselves. It's hard...really hard...to be counter-cultural and put God before everything else...but I know it's worth the effort!