Series in One Place: Knocking Ourselves Down a Peg

All three message videos from our series on pride and humility called “Knocking Ourselves Down a Peg” can be watched here for your convenience.

Finding Joy in Humility

You can find joy by focusing more on Jesus and less on yourself.

Humility is not something that we do well. Often, even our humility is done in order to make people think more highly of us: we desire recognition and to have ourselves lifted up above everyone else. The problem is, this kind of attitude makes it impossible to have lasting unity as the Church. Fortunately, Jesus has given us the ultimate example of humility, and because of him we have hope of great things in the future for which we can be joyful. Additionally, when we learn to humble ourselves to Jesus, we can begin to put him first rather than ourselves.

This whole series through the book of Philippians in the Bible has focused on the fact that When your focus is on yourself, happiness is dictated by your situation. When your focus is on Christ, joy is found in every situation. This principle doesn't change here either.

Text to read: Philippians 2:1-11 NLT

Paul points out that unity in the Church is of special importance. In fact, in our first week, we talked about finding joy in a true and healthy Christian community! The problem is, if the most important thing to each of us is ourselves and looking good and feeling good and being better than others and being recognized for being good, eventually something will happen that goes against those things and our unity will break down. This is why humility is so important!

Jesus calls you to true humility.

When your focus is on yourself, happiness is dictated by your situation. When your focus is on Christ, joy is found in every situation.

Humility is a huge biblical principle. Time and time again, Jesus said we have to be less to be greater, last to be first, and have to die to ourselves to live for Christ.

Remember what we've said is necessary for joy over and over again: less of yourself and more of Jesus. This means you've got to humble yourself first to Christ and second to others!

Too often, you make your humility all about you.

This is false humility. It is filtered through how others will perceive you. You don't want to seem prideful, so you deflect complements and give heartless platitudes that give others credit without being genuine.

Your humility probably--unconsciously or otherwise--focuses on the questions: "What can I get out of this," and "How will this impact how people see me?"

I won a medal for being the most humble man. They took it away a day later ‘cause I wore it.
— Unknown

Jesus gave the world's single greatest example of humility and in so doing, the world's single greatest hope.

God becoming human is the biggest act of humility possible. And he didn't just become any kind of human: he was born to a carpenter's family, in the backwater community of Galilee (a future disciple would remark, "can anything good come out of Galilee?"), in the smallest country, under another nation's rule. He could have come as a ruler, but came as a servant.

Through this act of humility, Jesus took our sin (rebellion against God and missing the mark on what we were made to be) on himself and provided a way for us to be forgiven of our sin and reunited in a life-giving relationship with God.

There's no need to try to get ahead of others in life, because everyone has been made equal through Jesus.

In the end, Jesus will return and everyone will recognize that he is Lord and will bow the knee to him. The question is, will you be there in fear and trembling as an enemy combatant, or will you be there in awe and wonder as you are ushered in as a son or daughter of God?

Action Step:

  • Ask the Holy Spirit to show you one way you can be humble; do it, and keep it a secret!

Prefer to watch or listen to the whole thing? Do so below:

Fooling Ourselves About Pride

Pride. No one wants to admit to having it…unless perhaps it relates to their children or to something they worked hard to create. Yet there it is—to varying degrees—in almost every human being. Pride, that monster that can at once make one vicious and also weak.

Weak? Yes, weak. For pride is not easily kept. It is a position one desires to keep above all else, but one which is ever-teetering on the edge of collapse. It must always be defended, even if others must be torn down to do so. Ironically, it is often one’s own desire to hold on to their pride that ultimately causes their pride to collapse. Pride, with its show of strength, is, in fact, weak. That’s why God, in his infinite wisdom, tells us, “Pride goes before destruction” (Proverbs 16:18).

humility before Jesus

Then there is humility. It is elusive and respected, but ultimately it is considered undesirable. One must give up too much to become humble! Yet in true humility there is great strength. The humble do not fear the collapse of their reputation or success. This is because they find their value and their strength, not from themselves, but from something—no, someone—greater than themselves, who Himself, being incomparably great, humbled Himself to become one of us: a man of sorrows.

Pride goes before destruction
— Proverbs 16:18

God came to humanity in the flesh, fully human and fully God—Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He did this so that through His death on a Roman cross and His resurrection three days later, the unfathomable rift that humanity’s rebellion against Him had created could be bridged. Now, all those who place their trust in Jesus and make Him master of their life will find an eternally life-giving relationship with God and will receive forgiveness for their rebellion against Him (called sin).

Friends, rather than staying in the tumultuous position of our pride, let us place our hope in the only One who has reason to be proud, yet who gladly was humbled for you and for me. Let us humble ourselves today at the feet of Christ Jesus.

Your Friend,

Pastor Stephen.

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