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Humility is an attitude of the heart

Psalm 51:17 in the ESV says The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Webster’s Dictionary says that contrite is: worn out, it represents the idea of being beaten down into pieces

Sometimes life is just like that and we become worn down, beaten into pieces. Unfortunately, for many in the world today, it leaves them with no center of purpose. However, for the one, who is saved, knowing Christ as their savior and Lord, there is an open door to the throne of God. You see humility is an attitude of the heart.

In 2 Chronicles 7:14 God promised that if we will humble ourselves, pray, seek His face and turn from our wicked ways, that He would hear, forgive sin and heal the land.

James 4: 6 God extends grace to the humble and resists the proud.

We read in Luke 18:9-14 about a Pharisee and a tax collector. One thinks more of himself than he ought and the other could not even lift his “eyes to heaven”, he beat his chest and asked that “God be merciful, to me a sinner”. When God sees humility, He sees someone with whom He can entrust His grace. Humility arrests the attention of God.

Listen, humility is quick to confess sin and slow to point out sin in others. What did the tax collector ask God to do? To be merciful as he recognized he was a sinner. In humility, he asked God to surface sin so he could repent.

Pride, on the other hand, is slow to confess sin and quick to point out the sin in others. You can almost hear the pride of the Pharisee in verse 11 …‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. The Pharisee looked alright on the outside but inside his heart was ravaged by pride and selfishness. He was not teachable or humble, he knew no compassion. It was his way or no way. Pride says if you don’t look, talk and act as I do, you are wrong.

Also, humility asks for and receives God’s forgiveness and in turn, is quick to forgive others. Once we receive the forgiveness of God, we begin to recognize the need to forgive others. The prideful person sees no need to seek forgiveness from God. He doesn’t forgive or seeks the forgiveness of others. Pride says: I will never forgive you for that…”

There are many people with this attitude today in all walks of life. They are holding on to the wrongs and not forgiving, angry, bitter with pride dwelling in the heart. Humility is willing to be behind the scenes. Luke 18:13 But the tax collector, standing far off,

There is something else about humility; it is secure in knowing their work for God is as important as the one in the spotlight. Pride insists on the spotlight, for all the wrong reasons, so that they may be acknowledged. Pharisees liked the spotlight, the best seats in the house, the attention. Pride is always causing conflict because it insists on being the center of attention.

To the humble, Jesus has promised that though they may never hear the praises of people, they receive their reward in heaven.

Remember that God hates pride, for it was pride that brought sin into God’s creation. Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate. God hates sin so much that He is willing to allow adversity into the lives of His children to root it out.

Paul in his 2nd letter to the Corinthian church spoke of his “thorn in the flesh”. Paul intensely searched for the reason of the thorn. In this letter Paul revealed the reason as God had revealed it to him in 2 Corinthians 12:7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. The thorn was God’s preventive maintenance. God’s means of assuring that the popularity of Paul and the spiritual privileges that Paul received would not cause him to think more highly of himself than he ought. God knew Paul’s potential for His kingdom's work and he was doing everything necessary to ensure that the ego of Paul did not get in the way. God uses some adversity to inject healthy doses of humility.

A.W. Tozer said:

The meek man is not a human mouse afflicted with a sense of his own inferiority. Rather he may be in his moral life as bold as a lion and as strong as Samson, but he has stopped being fooled about himself. He has accepted God’s estimate of his own life.

He knows he is as weak and helpless as God declared him to be, but paradoxically, he knows at the same time that he is in the sight of God of more importance than angels. In himself, nothing; in God, everything. That is his motto.

Remember that humility is an attitude of the heart.

A thought to ponder

Elbert Nasworthy

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