I think many of us are like this. Who actually likes being humbled? Who enjoys being reminded of how small and insignificant we are? And who enjoys being told that they are wrong?
However, as natural as this resistance to humility may seem, I recently came across a verse that is changing the way I think. It's James 4:10 and it says, "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up." That verse is so crucial that I'm going to separate it and put it into italics:
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.This is so revolutionary to the way we think! This just seems to backwards! It doesn't really make sense that if we humble ourselves, we will be lifted up. Or does it?
In Matthew 20, Jesus says to His disciples, "'...whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.'" This is powerful material here. Jesus is saying that if you want to become great, you must be a servant, and that if you want to be first, you must be a slave.
I'll be honest: I want to be great. I want to be first. I want to be popular, rich, famous, well-liked, admired, respected, followed, influential, and powerful. I want to make a huge difference in this world. I want to be remembered as a man who changed the world. I want people around the world to place me in the same category they place legendary figures like Billy Graham, Francis Chan, A.W. Tozer, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Martin Luther. I want to be great just like these men. I want the imprint I leave in this world to be as big as theirs, if not bigger.
But I have to remember that the secret to being great is exactly what Jesus said it is: if you want to be great, then be a servant. Once again,
If you want to be great, then be a servant.
You see, these great and legendary figures didn't become great because they sought their own glory. They became great because they found their greatness in Christ. These men understood the secret to becoming great: they became servants. And that's the key.
You won't go very far in life is you're living to glorify yourself. You have to be humble if you want God to work through You. I love Proverbs 29:23, which states, "A man’s pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor."
So as backwards as it may sounds, if you humble yourself, God will exault you, but if you are prideful, you will be brought down. I want to learn to be humble because I want to be great, and because I want to be lifted up and honored by God. I want to be a servant, a man filled with humilty, who leads by example.
"The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted." ~Matt. 23:11-12