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Saturday, 08 September 2012

Humility and the Root of Resistance

What is humility, and why is it important for us to be humble? To be humble means to be meek, lowly, down-to-earth, and demure. It also means that you are not proud or haughty, not arrogant or assertive, that you express yourself or offer your opinion in a spirit of deference or submission. When you are humble, you rank yourself low in a hierarchy or on a scale, you consider yourself insignificant, you are unpretentious, and you do not display your lifestyle in a costly manner or luxuriously.

Pride is the opposite of humility. Having pride shows up in people as being arrogant, assuming, conceited, egotistic, haughty, presumptuous, and as having an attitude that is superior over others.
To be humble is to follow Almighty God Jehovah’s (Yahweh’s) instructions. When you are humble, you do not lean on your own understanding and you do not think that you are better than other people.

When a person is humble, Jehovah guides them. Read Psalm 25:9. In the end, nothing will have been more important than living your life as a humble person for Almighty God and His son Jesus Christ.
Having a humble attitude can help you develop as a person and enjoy your relationships with others. As God’s steward, Paul warned people to not be haughty in mind toward others. Read 1 Corinthians 4:6-7. Everything that we have we received from God Jehovah.

Most people have problems with managing their own pride. Benjamin Franklin had a keen perspective on pride when he said, "In reality there is perhaps not one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive, and will every now and then peep out and show itself...For even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility." [1]

Sometimes pride appears when a big change comes someone’s way. But change is inevitable, so what is your attitude when it occurs? Maybe the change is one that Jehovah and Jesus Christ know you need, but instead of listening to it and accepting it, you resist it. You might resist initially because you need time to think about it and assess the benefits. Or maybe you continue to resist and never embrace it. Maybe with a person’s continued resistance, Jehovah and Jesus Christ would choose to not present any further opportunities for them to grow spiritually. That possibility alone should be enough to scare anyone.

You cannot accomplish anything by yourself. Here is a reality check. In John 15:5, Jesus says, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” Do you abide in Jesus the Son of God and are you confident that you have his approval? See 2 Corinthians 10:18.

To identify the root of resistance to spiritual instruction or change, look inward. Do you see a humble person? Be honest, at least with yourself. If you truly want to be a humble servant of Jehovah and Jesus Christ, begin to change your demeanor and become humble now. Don’t let your ego make the excuse that you must wait until the time is right to start.

Maybe you think you’ve got pride under control and that you are humble already. You might be right. Here are a few ways to check, just in case, and then begin to change if you need to.

Do you think you are right most of the time?
Do your ideas, suggestions, or advice seem to be better than someone else?
Do you judge what other people say or do?
Do you think about people based on their history?

Many scriptures teach us to be humble by warning us of the dangers of pride. With humility comes wisdom, but with pride comes shame (Proverbs 11:2), a potential fall (Proverbs 16:18), and abasement (Matthew 23:12). The fear of Jehovah is to hate evil, which includes pride, arrogance, and the evil way (Proverbs 8:13). Pride will bring you low (Proverbs 29:23).

It is important to be humble because God requires it of His people. Read Titus 3:2. Teachers of God’s word must be gentle and not contentious. Micah 6:8 says, “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”

Imagine having lived in heaven with Jehovah from the beginning. You are there with Him and you are aware that through His own power, and for His own pleasure, He created you. You dwell in awe of Him, you live in a state of gratitude to Him for your existence, and you are fully cared for and protected by Him. You also know that if you disobey Him or talk back that He can take you out. Now wouldn’t you trust Him, do what He says, respond in a humble manner, then bow down to Him in respect? We should have the same mindset now. Although we are on earth and He is in heaven, it is really no different otherwise.

Understand that those who are humble now, and when Jesus Christ comes, will be exalted.

Matthew 18:3-4 – Be humble and teachable.
Luke 14:11 – Exalted in the time to come.
Luke 18:10-14 – A sinner who was humble.
Matthew 11:29 – Take on Jesus’ yoke.
Philippians 2:5-8 – Jesus, humble to death.
John 5:30 – Jesus only did his Father’s will.
John 13:14-15 – Serve others as Jesus did.

Find humility and eliminate the root of your resistance to it. The Creator of everything tells us, “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14).”
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