The need for godly living by every Christian is sorely needed in the world today. In this age of confusion, doubt, and despair the world is sadly in need of the shining lights of Christian example. Christians can and should be lights by living as the Word directs. Matt. 5:16; Phil. 2:15. In our preaching and teaching today we often speak of Christian living in very general terms. Yet, we often need to study in detail the various aspects of this manner of living. A basic part of a life pleasing in God's sight is humility. Humility truly should characterize every child of God. The lack of humility has and will lead to rebellion.
The need for humility is expressed in many places in the Word. Only one of these is Micah 6:8, "He hath showed thee, 0 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?" To walk humbly with God is to possess humility. Humility is defined as "the state or quality of being humble of mind or spirit." To help us to see clearly what this is, let us observe the definition of the word humble. Humble is defined as "1. having or showing a consciousness of one's defects or shortcomings; not proud; modest. 2. low in condition or rank; lowly; Unimportant; unpretentious."
The promises of God are for the humble. Matt. 23:12: "And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted." To be exalted in heaven man must humble himself while upon the earth. Those who exalt or elevate themselves in this life shall be abased in the life to come. Let us learn "that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.' I I Cor. 4:6.
We all realize that one of the best ways to teach is by example. The Lord has given us many examples of humility in His Word. Let us examine only a few.
Joseph, the son of Jacob, was a humble man. We are familiar with the various trials that preceded his imprisonment. In prison he interpreted the dreams of the servants of Pharaoh. Because of his ability to interpret dreams he was called before Pharaoh to interpret the dreams that none of the Pharaoh's advisers could explain. When called Joseph made this acknowledgment. "It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace." Gen. 41:16.
Joseph was quick to give credit to the God of heaven, where it rightfully belonged. He was not presumptious to take the glory for himself. We need to remember as we count our wealth in this world that it is God who gives us the power to obtain it (Deut. 8:18), just as it was God who gave Joseph the power to interpret the dreams of Pharaoh. Better to be penniless than to be rich if the riches will cause us to forget to acknowledge God who gave us all we possess. Likewise in our efforts for the Lord in his vineyard, be it remembered that of ourselves we can do nothing. It is God that giveth the increase. I Cor. 3:7. Often we speak is if we were the means of converting the sinner rather than the gospel being that means.
Solomon in his early years was a man of humility. Observe his confession to God. "And now, 0 Lord my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father; and I am but a little child; I know not how to go out or come in." I Kings 3:7. Solomon was able to recognize his weaknesses and his dependence on God. He admitted his ignorance and helplessness without the guidance of God. He showed his humility in asking for knowledge. Should not this attitude possess us to the same degree? It is a proud and arrogant person who thinks he knows all he needs to know, and is not in need of the guidance from above. Sad to say that Solomon became puffed up and forgot his dependence on God. When we launch out into worldly knowledge, and depend upon our own intellect for guidance, we will be as Solomon in his last years. Let us ever be humble and realize our need for the word of truth. Christ has promised the kingdom of heaven to the poor in spirit. Matt. 5:3.
The greatest example of humility is that of our Lord. Of himself he said, "I am meek, and lowly in heart." Matt. 11 :29. Of him the apostle says, "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Phil. 2:8. Notice that obedience is coupled with humility. The man who will not obey the Lord's commandments is not humble in His sight. True humility will cause us to recognize our need for God and his way. It will cause us to obey Him without the excuses we so often offer. May we ever look unto Jesus and in humility obey his Word. May we ever follow the one who "also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps." I Pet. 2:21.
Solomon said, "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." Proverbs 16:18. Let us seek only the will of the Father in heaven and walk humbly in his sight. In humility let us serve Him all the days of our life that we can hear those wonderful words, "Well Done."
Truth Magazine II:2, pp. 20-21, 23