“…Yea, all [of you] be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time….” (1 Peter 5:5-6).
These verses are quite challenging when we’re trying to love others God’s way instead of our own, but they are definitive in the approach and explicit with the outcome of humility: 1) Be subject to each other; 2) Let humility guide you; and 3) Let God’s power help you walk in humility. if you do, God 1) won’t oppose you for being proud; 2) will exalt the humble in due time; and 3) will give grace to the humble.
We are prone not to help one another out of humility and allowing the power of GOD to help us do so. We can be guilty of helping each other out of pride, constantly reminding others, like I said in the last post, of our great sacrifice to help them. When we do this, we are not operating in God’s strength but out of our own supply and our supply can cause hurt feelings, resentment and even shame. Jesus is our greatest model of humility, and when we look at His life, we find an incredible amount of self-denial for the TOTAL good of others. I say TOTAL good because if he had just died on the cross for our sins, we still would have a way to eternal life. But what good would it have been to us if God constantly reminded us about this great sacrifice that He was making on our behalf?
What if Jesus told all the Jews who demanded His crucifixion and mocked, spat on, beat and ultimately crucified Him, “Do you know who I am? I am God, who left my home in glory, to come down to earth to take on flesh to experience all your human experiences, good and bad. Where I come from is perfect but I gave that up for you. I came to die on the cross so you wouldn’t have to continue to live miserable lives. I’m going to die for you because that’s the only way you will be saved, but it is really hard for me to have to suffer for you.”?
Of course Jesus would NEVER have said that but He would not have been prideful in saying any of it. See, biblical humility means recognizing your pitiful state and your inadequacy and that you need God to help you. That definition could never fit Jesus because He is God. But what if He, in His humanity, had reminded us of the magnitude of His sacrifice? Would His lack of humility in loving us make us feel special? Would we want to show Jesus gratitude for His sacrifice? I don’t think so. I think we would give obeisance to God only out of fear and not loving reverence for a God who loved us so much that “he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8) and never said a word in defense of His innocence (Luke 23:9).
Likewise, I believe our lack of humility in love not only makes people feel bad and not want to show us gratitude but it also makes them less inclined to show us love. So we must remember to walk in humility in relation to our enemies and friends, when we are just showing common courtesies AND when we have to love them intentionally in a huge way. If you don’t, you both may miss the blessing God intends to give to you and them. I am experiencing this mutual blessing. Recently my family extended a huge offer to friends and they accepted it. We were all prayerful about the offer because we knew that we would each have to make major adjustments to our lives that could cause major inconveniences and ultimately negatively impact our relationship. I praise God that we followed God’s leading and have trusted Him for the outcome. Not only were we able to bless our friends but I am experiencing so much joy as we have shown biblical love by having “all things common” (Acts 2:44).
As we seek to love with humility, let’s remember that Jesus, who didn’t have to be humble, did so and walked in subjection to God the Father. And Jesus, as the song writer said, “never said a mumbling word” in His defense. We have the power, because of the Holy Spirit within us, to be silent like Jesus so we can bless others for their TOTAL good.
Take a Risk Challenge: Pray that God will keep a watch over your mouth to prevent you from telling those you are helping just how much you are sacrificing to love them (Psalm 141:3). If you do, you might just receive, as I did with my friends, an unexpected blessing.
My One Thousand Gifts List
Flynn voluntarily cooking
Not cooking a full meal in four days
A midday rendezvous
Clothes shopping with the family and getting a lot for a little
Justus clinging to me on the porch while Nate played in the sprinkler
Not having to cook a full meal in six days
Flynn saying he enjoyed our family outing to the clothing store, a place he usually dreads going to with the entire family
A surprisingly content-rich blog post regarding organic products
Words of advice for Tabitha when I knew I didn’t have any
Flynn taking the boys to get haircuts and shopping, giving me much needed alone time