Bible · Christian · Faith · Jesus

Pride comes before a fall

God opposes the proud’ (1 Peter 5:5 NLT)

Are you bothered when you walk into a room and the people within just look over at you, continue chatting, and don’t immediately flock round you?

Do you spend much of your time talking to people who you meet, telling them about what you do, or how good you are at your particular job?

Some people like to ‘big themselves up’. “Don’t you know who I am?” is a phrase that I have heard many times at work. Some people just think that they are more important than they actually are; and also that everybody that they meet should know exactly who they are.

Is it really important that everybody knows who you are? Do you chase the plaudits? Are you completely driven by the praise that you may get from people when they know what you have done?

For some people, not being in the lime-light is a far great fear for them, than actually being ill. Mac Davis got it just right for many people, when he wrote;

Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble, when you’re perfect in every way’ (It’s Hard to Be Humble – Mac Davis).

There is nothing wrong with being good at something, and being recognised for it, the Bible tells us to work really hard;

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord.’ (Colossians 3:23 ESV).

The verse does not say, ‘work hard, seek the praise, and tell everybody all about it; but Mac completes his words with how we should be working;

Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble, but I’m doing the best that I can’ (It’s Hard to Be Humble – Mac Davis).

It can be really difficult when we have done a task that we think has been completed well, and we think that we should receive some praise for it, a hearty ‘well done’, and a big ‘pat-on-the-back’ from the boss, or some other similar accolade.

So, what should we do? How should we behave?

Jesus told a parable regarding this, (Luke 14:8-11) which basically, he said do not be big-headed, and do not think of yourself being better than other people around you;

when you are invited, take the lowest seat’ (Luke 14:10 NIV).

There will always be someone who is better, or quicker than you, athletes see this all the time. In 1912, Sweden saw the American Donald Lippincott, who probably thought he was absolutely unbeatable with his 100m time of 10.8 seconds, and then in August 2009, the Jamaican Usain Bolt had an amazing time of 9.9 seconds.

Equally there have been other athletes, Muhammad Ali, and Arnold Schwarzenegger are two who come to mind, they used to say to their opponents, that they need not take part in a competition, as they had already lost to them. Ali is even said to have spoken these words;

‘I’m the greatest thing that ever lived’ (Muhammad Ali – When Clay Shook Up The World – February 2004).

What we, as Christians should do, is to be humble, both in the way we treat people, and the way that we act towards people.

God told the Israelite nation that they should also be humble;

Then if my people… … will humble themselves’ (2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT).

So we should look to God and be humble in our heart. God sees us completely; there is no hiding from God. The Psalmist David knew this, for he said;

You have searched me, LORD, and you know me’ (Psalm 139:1 NIV).

James also reminded the twelve tribes that were scattered amongst the surrounding nations;

Humble yourselves before the Lord’ (James 4:10 ESV).

When writing his letter to the various churches, Peter reminded the people of the early church, to;

clothe yourselves with humility towards one another’ (1 Peter 5:5 NIV).

The Lord spoke through the prophet Micah, who prophesied between 737 – 696, and told the people what was required of them, and what did the Lord require of them?

And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly’ (Micah 6:8 NIV).

So as you go about your business; walk humbly, clothe yourself with humility, and be like Jesus.

Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble, but I’m doing the best that I can’ (It’s Hard to Be Humble – Mac Davis).

saltandlight copy

I’d like for them to say: 
He took a few cups of love.
He took one tablespoon of patience,
One teaspoon of generosity,
One pint of kindness.
He took one quart of laughter,
One pinch of concern.
And then, he mixed willingness with happiness. 
He added lots of faith,
And he stirred it up well.
Then he spread it over a span of a lifetime,
And he served it to each and every deserving person he met.

Muhammad Ali (interview with David Frost 1974)

Oh Lord, it’s hard being humble,
But I do the best that I can
Most times I am really trying,
At others, I’m told that I am.
Lord, help me be just like you,
And share the gospel with all,
I try really hard to show your love,
To be salt and light to all.

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Father we thank you for sending your Son, Jesus to show us how to live our lives. We try to be like him, but at times it is difficult and we struggle. Help us to look to you first, and to live a humble life, that shows you to all the people we know. Lord in the words of Mac Davis, help us to do the best that we can.

Amen

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