“A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.” Proverbs 29:23
Humble yourself or God may decide that he needs to step in and humble you. I have experienced this many times in my brief life on earth. We, as humans, get full or ourselves, proud and self-reliant. We slip away from the ever present need for God’s provision. We rely on ourselves and not on God, which leaves us in an unwarranted state of pride and often arrogance.
Look at the contrasting definitions below. The first is the standard definition from the not too distant past, which still applies today. Then look at the “latest greatest” definition from Bing. The first has a positive meaning the second a negative meaning.
Humble: not proud or haughty, not arrogant or assertive, ranking low in a hierarchy or scale. Merriam-Webster dictionary online
Humble: having or showing a modest or low estimate of one's own importance, of low social, administrative, or political rank, lower in dignity or importance. Bing search engine definition online
That Bing definition is how the current generation of people feels about being humble. They feel being humble means you are less important or of low self-esteem. They feel that way because they have strayed away from the Bible and its lessons on humility.
Jesus said, “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:4) and again, “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” (Matthew 23:12) Jesus even found it good and appropriate to even humble himself, “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:8) The creator of the universe, and everything in it, chose to humble himself, become human and die for us while teaching us how to be humble. Jesus’ generosities, mercy, grace and leadership is astounding.
So, why has there been this change in the definition?
Why do people now feel being humble is lowering themselves?
They lost their fear of God – that reverent respect for the creator. They just flat out don’t respect God or his Holy Word. Bowing a knee to anyone or anything seems foreign, bazar and self-abasing to them. This leads to pride, which God hates, loathes, despises. Proverbs 8:13 says, “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.” The Hebrew word for “do I hate” is śānêṯî and it means to personally hate – personally hate the pride, not the person. God, in a very personal way, hates pride.
We need to be open to God’s leadership and do it with humility. We should cherish our Lord so much that we do everything in our power to live a humble life. We need to live that humble life filled with reliance on our precious Lord. We need to let go and let God.
He created you, so he has the right to control you. Instead of controlling you like a puppet, God gave you free will so you can – of your own free will – choose to let Him be in control. That’s the true Biblical definition of being humble. God should always be in control, not because it’s forced on us, but because we love Him so much that we choose to relinquish control to Him.
I have recently been humbled and I consider it a gift from God. He’s teaching me and I’m going to listen, not because I have to, but of my own free will and my love for my Lord and Savior. I love your leadership Lord, so humble me Lord and guide me – I will always follow. Amen!