Being humble for most people brings to mind a form of weakness. If someone practices humility, it means they’re not a “go-getter” and don’t care about performance or working hard. It’s the weak one who is humble and is dependent on someone else (hopefully you sense my sarcasm). Why do you suppose the Bible has so much to say about being humble? Maybe we’ve got it all wrong and the one who practices humility is actually the strong one?
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:6-7
God cares for us. He is mighty. He calls us to humble ourselves under Him. Not because He is a controlling God that wants you to bow down to Him because you are nothing, but rather because He wants to exalt us and care for us. As we humble ourselves, that is when we truly worship Him. We’re trusting Him with what’s going on in our lives and believing He is the provider instead of ourselves.
Stop Putting Everything On Your Shoulders
I’ve noticed lately in the majority of my conversations with people that everyone is tired. We’re busy. We’re weary. We’re taking on a lot of responsibilities. We’re working hard for our families. We’re trying to attend as many social events as possible. We’re trying to pay the bills as best as we can. We’re just trying to “get by.”
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30
Jesus doesn’t seem to be talking about a life that is full of anxiousness and weariness as we follow Him. He makes a point to state the exact opposite on how we can find rest in Him. He is speaking to those that labor and are heavy laden.
I can’t speak for you personally, but I know for a fact that we are all suffering from this. We are working too hard. We are thinking way too much mentally. We are putting things on our shoulders that don’t belong there. We are forgetting what Jesus said and what He has done when we feel that it’s “all on us” to get things to happen. Most of the time, we’re probably putting so much effort into the wrong things all together (I am guilty of this too).
In today’s culture, we’re told if you labor and are heavy laden then you are doing the right thing. You are sacrificing for your family and friends. You are pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and working hard to hopefully one day achieve paradise (retirement) where you get to do nothing as you live out the rest of your days. This is wrong. Don’t let culture tell you that putting everything on your shoulders is wisdom. Trust Jesus when He tells you that His burden is light.
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God,which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 4:4-7
Trust In God’s Character
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” –Philippians 4:8
Most of the time when we don’t humble ourselves, we are really saying we don’t trust God. There are times as a follower of Christ when we forget God’s character or doubt Him. We’re told in Scripture to think on the things of God. To meditate on anything worthy of praise.
These things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, or excellent are all praiseworthy because God is all these things. You’ll never find an area of the Bible that contradicts God’s character at the end of the day and that should encourage us in those moments of doubt.
Most of all, when God gave His one and only Son for us (John 3:16), it tells us a lot about His character. That sure doesn’t seem to come across to me like a God who is a tyrant and just demands power all the time. It doesn’t seem to match up to a God that doesn’t care about us. He knew that we could only come to Him through His Son who had to suffer and die before rising again. With that perfect knowledge that only God can have, He followed through and sacrificed His Son for us. Not only does that tell us everything we need to know about God’s character, that shows us just how much He loves us.
Look At The Humility Of Jesus
Jesus is our ultimate example of humility. Out of obedience to His Father, He humbled Himself all the way to the point of death on the cross. The Bible says because of this that God exalted Him just like how it says He will exalt us (1 Peter 5:6-7).
“And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” – Philippians 2:8-11
If Jesus practiced humility Himself, then why would we think we don’t need to? Why would we consider this weakness? Even He was dependent on His Father and this was a good thing, in fact, the best thing. It was a God glorifying thing in every way. We couldn’t even have a relationship with God if it wasn’t for what Jesus did for us in the first place (John 14:6). We had to humble ourselves to trust that Jesus is King and to ask Him to be our Lord and Savior. This is no different today whether you’ve been a believer for a week or 50 years.
We still need Him in everything we do. We still need the Holy Spirit to guide us and give us wisdom in all matters. We still need help to practice things that are honorable, pure, lovely, commendable, or anything praiseworthy. We are still not capable of doing anything on our own and will never be. As soon as we begin to live in a way where we are no longer dependent on God to do everything for us, we are forgetting our first love and proclaiming what Christ did for us was not enough.
As you’re reading this, take a deep breath and let it out. It’s going to be ok. As a follower of Christ, no matter what circumstance you find yourself in, I promise that you can give it to Him. This is because God’s Word is true. What Jesus did was enough. And you have the Holy Spirit and can trust Him to lead and guide you. Humble yourself and pray to God truly casting your anxieties to Him and trust that He does indeed care for you.
Image by Sacred Outfitter