Humble Yourselves...

So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God,  and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.~1 Peter 5:6 (NLT)

     Have you ever thought about what it really means to be humble? A simple definition of humility is: modesty, lacking pretence, or not believing that you are superior to others. It doesn't mean that you believe that you are inferior to others, or that you are undeserving or unworthy of respect or recognition; instead, it means you believe that God has created everyone in His image and likeness, everyone has equal value in His sight, and as Creator, He is greater than His creation, which includes all of us!
When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?
 You have made them a little lower than the angels
    and crowned them with glory and honor.
 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet.
~Psalm 8: 3-6 (NIV)

     It's really difficult to be prideful when we consider the greatness of God, and how He chose to create us along with all the other things He made, gave us control of His earth and all of its resources, and then offered us the opportunity to work with Him to bring His Good News to those who don't know it. It's really sad then, when we step outside of that humility and take on the prideful nature of the enemy by expecting others to cater to us, making unreasonable demands on others, or by demeaning those who serve us in the everyday world.

     In recent news, a minister went into a popular restaurant with her group of 20 and after being served, left a very acerbic note on the bill stating: "I give God 10%, why do you get 18?" I think that most Christians gave that one a double-take, and it also ignited a lot of controversy among people who want nothing to do with church or God, simply because it was wrong. In the minister's defense, she has since apologized for her actions that resulted in the server being fired. While there are still a lot of unanswered questions about this story, it does show what can happen when we become impressed with ourselves and our accomplishments, titles, education, or social standing, and forget that without God's help, we wouldn't have any real success in life. Remember: We never have any excuse to treat anyone as if they are "less than" we are.

Later the seventy came back full of joy. “Lord,” they said, “even evil spirits obey us when we use your name!”
 “Yes,” returned Jesus, “I was watching and saw Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning! It is true that I have given you the power to tread on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the enemy’s power—there is nothing at all that can do you any harm. Yet it is not your power over evil spirits which should give such joy, but the fact that your names are written in Heaven.”
~Luke10:17-20 (Phillips)
     If we follow Christ's example, we will see that we are never to become impressed with ourselves, with what we are able to do, or with the amount of spiritual strength and power that we have been given, but we are always reminded to be grateful that God chose to save us from sin. In reality, it's very humbling to work with the God of the Universe in bringing His Good News and presence to the world, and never something to be prideful about!
 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud  or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
~1 Cor. 13:4-7 (NIV)
     Along with increased opportunities and recognition we  will receive for the things we do in God's Kingdom, the more chances there are for us to become prideful and available for the enemy to use to hurt others. Let us always remember that Christ's example is always humility and faith, that works by love. Selah...
     Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

     ~ 1 Cor. 13:13 (NLT)