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How NOT to Walk in Humility

How NOT to Walk in Humility

by Janis Jakes

Please do not tell me God does not have a sense of humor. I have experienced it on more than one occasion. Even in His humor, however, there are lessons to be learned, and that is exactly what happened to me.

This particular incident happened more than a decade ago. As I recall, the pastor presented a wonderful sermon on Moses and humility. I felt so touched, I just had to go to the front of the church, bend my knees, and bow my head at the altar. Two or three other humble people joined me. The other less-than-humbles stayed behind on the pews or stood to sing with the worship team.

I was only a few feet from the platform. As I acknowledged my sinful nature before the congregation, I felt compelled to take off my shoes. Oh yes! I thought. That would truly be humble. Moses took off his shoes in front of the burning bush, so I’ll take mine off, too.

How I got in my mind that I should compare myself to Moses, I have no idea, but I am quite sure it was not a God thought. Still operating in my flesh, I removed my pretty, slightly heeled pumps, sliding them off my feet with great care.

I can still remember placing my shoes on the carpet directly in front of me, only to find myself in sudden shock. The shoes did not match! One shoe was black and the other navy blue. Even the heel sizes were slightly different, something you think I would have noticed.

And, just in case you think the difference would not be that noticeable (since one shoe was black and the other navy), the inside of the navy shoe was also a dark hue but the inside of the black shoe was a gleaming gold. It was VERY obvious that the shoes were as different as night and day.

I blinked. Taken aback.

Then, I laughed. It was not the most appropriate thing to do at the altar, I know, but I laughed at myself and my false humility. I laughed because I knew God “had my number” so to speak.

I stood up, slipped on my mismatched shoes, and walked back to my seat with a suddenly noticeable wobble, and a truly humbled state of mind.

God, in His loving mercy, spoke to my heart and let me know that I did not know the first thing about humility. He did so in a fun way, a way that He knew I would get and remember, even now.

Since that moment in church, I have come to know that humility is not a public demonstration but an inward display of Christ-like character. Humility is valuing others over yourself—exhibiting the strength to resist your more carnal tendencies to idolize yourself and put your own wants and needs first.

One word study said: Humility is an inside-out virtue produced by comparing ourselves to the Lord (rather than to others).

At the same time, refuse the temptation to consider yourself worthless. That is not humility, nor is it Christ-like. Jesus Christ died for you—that alone gives you immense value.

Know that humility is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign that your trust is in its proper place—in the Lord. It is evidence that you know where your strength is found, and it is in Him alone. It is recognizing that He shaped you and sustains you. It is seeing yourself as the clay, and Him as the potter. When you understand who you are in Christ, and who others are in Him, as well, then you can begin to walk in true humility.

In 1 Peter 5:4-6, we read:

Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for

“God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Admittedly, I am still learning about humility, but at least now, I have enough humility to know that I have much to learn!

That is a sure step in the right direction.


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