As I was bragging about never messing up in the kitchen, I dropped a one-pound glass jar of honey, which promptly exploded and then oozed on the counter and floor. An “eat your words” type of moment and a ginormous mess, to say the least. It was a humbling moment considering I had just been boastful about not dropping items.
According to dictonary.com, humbling is a verb which means “to bring down the pride of another or to reduce her to a state of abasement: to humble an arrogant enemy.” While I don’t classify myself as an arrogant enemy, I certainly had my pride reduced in that moment of oozing honey and glass shards.
For the rest of the day, I was humming a childhood song based on James 4:10. “Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord (echo) Humble thyself in the sight of the Lord (echo) And He shall lift you up. Higher and higher and He. Shall lift you up.”
The song, on constant repeat throughout the day, drove the question; “Why should we humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord?”
First and foremost, we should humble ourselves before God because we are instructed to imitate Christ, who was in fact, humble. As seen in Philippians 2:5, we see that Christ did not state equality with God was an attainable goal, but rather Christ humbled himself to become human for our benefit.
Perhaps another reason why we should humble ourselves is found in James 4:10 and in the song itself. As we humble ourselves, God promises to exalt us. When we are humble in the sight of God, we receive His blessings and grace in a unique manner. He will lift us up.
The song, still on repeat, drove the next question; “How do we humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord?”
Speak well of others…on purpose (Ephesians 4:31-32). When we speak negatively about others, we are putting them down and often making ourselves out to be better. When we speak positively about others, we build them up and edify them. Throughout my life, I have caught myself being less than humble in this regard.
Always Pray (1 Thessalonians 5:17). When we pray, we are acting in a manner of dependence and humility. Prayer becomes a declaration of weakness. In the moment of prayer, we admit to God that we can’t make it without Him and that we need Him in requests and in praise. There are plenty of times that prayer is an afterthought in my life when in reality it should be my 1st thought.
Confess your areas of sin to God (Luke 18:9-14). All of us are sinful, but few of us routinely and honestly tell God about that sinful nature. Every day, it’s easy to ask God to “forgive my sins” as a blanketed statement. For me, it’s much harder to specifically assess areas of my life that are steeped in sin and then admit them to God.
Confess your areas of sin to other Christians (James 3:2). A test of true humility is when we are willing to confess our sins to others, just as we would confess it to God. Obviously, discretion is needed about who you confess sin to, but the act of telling someone about our sin allows us space to be completely honest with ourselves and ultimately with God. I struggle with this one because I don’t want others to know where I am weak or where I am failing. Thus, pride interfering with humility in my life.
As I hummed the song “Humble thyself in the Sight of the Lord,” I was reminded of why I should want to be humble and how I can practice being humble at the feet of God.
A broken honey jar is just one tangible reminder of how much work I have to do in this area…
To those on the Iron Porch this week, I pray you seek humility in your daily interactions this week!