The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Humility

The Spiritual Cost of Pursuing Fame

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English speakers have an old saying: “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.”  To appreciate what this means, you must first imagine that you’re someone who really loves cake. You love cake so much that it thrills you to see a nice big slice of cake sitting on your plate.  But as much as you always want cake to be available to you, you also love eating it because it is so very delicious.  The problem with eating your cake is that after you eat it all up, you don’t have anymore.  Your slice is gone.  It is physically impossible for you to still have cake sitting on your plate once you’ve eaten it.  Here’s where we get to our old saying: “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.”  It means there are times in life when you will be forced to choose between two things that you really want because having both of them just won’t be an option. Read more of this post

Understanding Godly Humility

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Suppose you have average math skills. You’re pretty good, but you’re not great. When someone sees you working out a sum in your head, and they say, “Wow! You’re brilliant at math!” If you answer, “No, I’m not. I’m just average,” this is a humble answer. If instead you say, “I am rather a genius, aren’t I?”, that’s boasting. In the world, humility is about accuracy, whereas boasting is a form of exaggeration. The humble man knows the limits of his skills, and he doesn’t accept credit which he knows he doesn’t deserve. The boastful man exaggerates his qualities and takes credit for things which he hasn’t done. Humility has nothing to do with low esteem. It’s not about faking shyness. It’s simply a matter of being honest about one’s limitations. Read more of this post

Understanding Jesus: All who Exalt Themselves will be Humbled (Luke 14)

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Dining with Jesus is always an awkward experience. He’s the kind of Guy who sits down at your table and feels free to start sniping at you and all of your guests. You never know when He’s going to launch into some shaming lecture that will draw everyone’s attention to your carnal motivations. Ever go over to someone’s house for dinner and try to snag one of the good chairs? Two thousand years ago, seats around the table in a Jewish home were strongly associated with social rank. Certain spots were considered places of high honor, and to sit there was a way of saying you were big stuff. One day Jesus is kicking back at a certain Pharisee’s table and watching the way the guests are strategically maneuvering for the highest ranking positions. There are no name placards at this table. The host isn’t telling people where to sit. They’re basically going for a status grab by parking themselves at the high ranking spots. Observing this, Jesus suddenly launches into a rather pointed parable. Read more of this post

Confident Humility

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At first, the term “confident humility” sounds like an oxymoron, for how can a truly humble person be confident?  And yet the reality is that confidence is the foundation on which humility is built.  As we learned in the post Confidence that Pleases God, confidence is always rooted in some belief, and that belief is either true or false.  One very popular false belief in the Church today is that humans are capable of doing good works apart from God, therefore they deserve the glory for the things that they accomplish.  When we root our confidence in this lie, we end up with arrogance.

The truth is that humans are incapable of doing anything good on their own.  Humans can’t even breathe without supernatural assistance.  Humans are frail, powerless little flecks who are utterly dependent on their Makers for absolutely everything.  When we root our confidence in these truths, we end up with humility.  Read more of this post

The Parable of the Unworthy Servant (Luke 17)

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We need to face how intensely our pride detests the fact that we are designed to be servants who never stop serving. In Luke 17:7-10, Jesus throws out a wonderfully pride bashing picture of what our position is with our three glorious Creators. Read more of this post

Encouraging Christians in a Way that Honors God

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Read What is humility? to understand the kind of humility we are talking about in this post.

When we have God’s definition of humility, we detest seeing anyone but God get the glory for the things that He has done, which is everything. Godly humility always comes paired with a sincere devotion to God and a deep concern for pleasing Him. Humble Christians know that they are not God’s indispensable assistants who He can’t work without. They are merely His servants and they view serving Him as a great privilege. Read more of this post

What is humility?

What is Humility?

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When we think of humility, we usually think of trying to act shy or embarrassed when someone compliments us. Humility in the Church today is commonly just a pretense—part of what it means to be a well-mannered Christian. It’s easy to learn how to act “humble” in the Church today. Body language is a key factor. Squirming in one’s chair, looking away, smiling awkwardly, blushing and saying things like “No, really, I don’t deserve any credit,” all add up to a very impressive show. When we see people putting on such performances, we are easily fooled into thinking they’re the real deal. Attracted to their seemingly small egos, we promote them to positions of influence in the Church so we can all learn from their holy example. Of course, in reality most people who act humble are really devious glory hounds who have learned how to squeeze extra compliments out of people. As they brush their hands through the air and say “It was nothing. I’m really not that good of a teacher,” what they really mean is “Tell me again how wonderful I am.” And people usually do, for false humility has a way of coaxing compliments out of others. Of course none of this carnal rot lines up with God’s definition of humility. What we call humility in the Church today is usually false humility. The real deal—biblical humility—is an entirely different thing. Read more of this post