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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Humility...let's talk about it

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Joined: 2016/6/4
Posts: 941
Johannesburg, South Africa

 Humility...let's talk about it

Quote from Great Quotes 20:

"Be violent against yourself and allow no pride to live in you, but be so humble and small that everyone will be able to walk over you and press you down like the dust in the streets. You prideful person,what do you have to complain about?"- Thomas A Kempis

You just have to be amazed how this man wrote. They had something then we can surely learn from now.

How much pride still lives in us? Or at least still influences our thinking?
How many times don't we think:" I could do it better...or , I could teach or preach better..etc. etc" ?

I know I struggle with this. Is it just the devil trying to plant those thoughts in our minds? Is it a test or a temptation? Could be.
Or maybe there is still an unrenewed part of our minds to which these thoughts appeal?

Something to ponder, saints...


 2017/8/25 8:27Profile

Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5241

 Re: Humility...let's talk about it

The Delight of Sacrifice ~ Oswald Chambers

I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls… —2 Corinthians 12:15

Once “the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit,” we deliberately begin to identify ourselves with Jesus Christ’s interests and purposes in others’ lives (Romans 5:5). And Jesus has an interest in every individual person. We have no right in Christian service to be guided by our own interests and desires. In fact, this is one of the greatest tests of our relationship with Jesus Christ. The delight of sacrifice is that I lay down my life for my Friend, Jesus (see John 15:13). I don’t throw my life away, but I willingly and deliberately lay it down for Him and His interests in other people. And I do this for no cause or purpose of my own. Paul spent his life for only one purpose— that he might win people to Jesus Christ. Paul always attracted people to his Lord, but never to himself. He said, “I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22).

When someone thinks that to develop a holy life he must always be alone with God, he is no longer of any use to others. This is like putting himself on a pedestal and isolating himself from the rest of society. Paul was a holy person, but wherever he went Jesus Christ was always allowed to help Himself to his life. Many of us are interested only in our own goals, and Jesus cannot help Himself to our lives. But if we are totally surrendered to Him, we have no goals of our own to serve. Paul said that he knew how to be a “doormat” without resenting it, because the motivation of his life was devotion to Jesus. We tend to be devoted, not to Jesus Christ, but to the things which allow us more spiritual freedom than total surrender to Him would allow. Freedom was not Paul’s motive at all. In fact, he stated, “I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren…” (Romans 9:3). Had Paul lost his ability to reason? Not at all! For someone who is in love, this is not an overstatement. And Paul was in love with Jesus Christ.


 2017/8/25 9:53Profile

Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 1971
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: Humility...let's talk about it

Here is a very interesting thought that I have mulled over for a few years now. Moses is said to be the most humble man on the face of the earth. (Numbers 12:3). What is so interesting about this is that Moses himself wrote it.

I think sometimes we misunderstand what humility is. Humility is not self exaltation, obviously. But humility is also not self abasement. Humility in its purest form is the complete absence of self-consideration. It is literally NOT thinking about oneself.

Proverbs says, "only by pride cometh contention". Every argument that we have in which we fight for our own rights, our own opinion, our own anything, is a result of pride in our lives. But pride is simply self focus or self centeredness.

A person who goes around constantly thinking that he is no good is totally focused on his own shortcomings and is not humble. A person who is so shy that he cannot speak to another person is often so focused on his own negative self-image that he is bound up by it. This person is not humble. But a man who does not even consider himself, but rather has his mind on God and on affecting other people in a positive way, even when it does not benefit himself, is a man filled with humility. That man, like Moses, can be candidly truthful about his strengths and his weaknesses with no pride involved in his statement.


 2017/8/25 10:02Profile

Joined: 2010/6/29
Posts: 156
SK Canada


Thank you ,Travis, I really like your description of true humility.

 2017/8/29 0:25Profile

Joined: 2016/6/4
Posts: 941
Johannesburg, South Africa

 Re: Humility

The Christian Bible Reference Site

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. (KJV, Matthew 5:5-9)

People often wonder humility means or what is the definition of humility. In the Bible, humility or humbleness is a quality of being courteously respectful of others. It is the opposite of aggressiveness, arrogance, boastfulness, and vanity. Rather than, "Me first," humility allows us to say, "No, you first, my friend." Humility is the quality that lets us go more than halfway to meet the needs and demands of others.

Friendships and marriages are dissolved over angry words. Resentments divide families and co-workers. Prejudice separates race from race and religion from religion. Reputations are destroyed by malicious gossip. Greed puts enmity between rich and poor. Wars are fought over arrogant assertions.

Humility as a virtue is a major theme of both the Old and New Testaments. Why do qualities such as courtesy, patience and deference have such a prominent place in the Bible? It is because a demeanor of humility is exactly what is needed to live in peace and harmony with all persons. Humility dissipates anger and heals old wounds. Humility allows us to see the dignity and worth of all God's people. Humility distinguishes the wise leader from the arrogant power-seeker.

Acting with humility does not in any way deny our own self worth. Rather, it affirms the inherent worth of all persons. Some would consider humility to be a psychological malady that interferes with "success." However, wealth, power or status gained at the expense of others brings only anxiety -- never peace and love.

Better is a dish of vegetables where love is, than a fattened ox and hatred with it. (NAS, Proverbs 15:17)

Better a little with righteousness than much gain with injustice. (NIV, Proverbs 16:8)

It is better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud. (NAS, Proverbs 16:19)

Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city. (NIV, Proverbs 16:32)

Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife. (NIV, Proverbs 17:1)

The Humble Demeanor
We should maintain an attitude of deference toward both God and other persons. Wisdom cannot be found or practiced through arrogance or anger. As servants of God, we must respect all of God's creation, including our fellow human beings.
Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth. Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips. (NIV, Proverbs 27:1-2)

When pride comes, then comes dishonor, but with the humble is wisdom. The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the falseness of the treacherous will destroy them. (NAS, Proverbs 11:2-3)

Humility means putting God and other persons ahead of our own selfish interests. Humility comes with the knowledge that God's creation as a whole transcends our own narrow interests. As with other aspects of wisdom, humility will gain us much more than we sacrifice.

Humility and the fear of the LORD bring wealth and honor and life. (NIV, Proverbs 22:4)

"But the greatest among you shall be your servant. "And whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted. (NAS, Matthew 23:11-12)

And [Jesus] called a child to Himself and set him before them, and said, "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. "Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (NAS, Matthew 18:2-4)

The Golden Rule
Do to others as you would have them do to you. "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend to 'sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. (NIV, Luke 6:31-35)

The Golden Rule, spoken by Jesus, is possibly the best known quote from the Bible, and contains a lot of wisdom in one short sentence. If we wish to be loved, we must first give love. If we wish to be respected, we must respect all persons, even those we despise. If we wish to be fulfilled in our lives, we must share generously with others.

Talk and Gossip
Arrogant words inflame prejudice and hatred, but humble speech soothes. Words make or break human relationships. Words can make war or make peace. The words we say or write have tremendous power for good or evil. We should be as careful with our words as we would be with any other "weapon."
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly. (NIV, Proverbs 15:1-2)

"The good man out of his good treasure brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings forth what is evil. "And I say to you, that every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account for it in the day of judgment. "For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned." (NAS, Matthew 12:35-37)

Gossip is an act of hostility intended to harm someone's reputation. We must avoid the temptation to misrepresent someone's character or actions as an act of revenge or prejudice.

An evil man sows strife; gossip separates the best of friends. (TLB, Proverbs 16:28)

Judging Others
Self-righteousness is one of the hardest sins to avoid because it is so much easier to see other peoples faults than to see our own faults. Rather than look for faults in others, we should look for the good in others and try to correct the faults within ourselves. Jesus' comical parable of a person with a board in his eye trying to see to remove a speck from another's eye reminds us that we probably have bigger faults within ourselves (including self-righteousness) than the faults we would criticize in others:
"Don't criticize, and then you won't be criticized. For others will treat you as you treat them. And why worry about a speck in the eye of a brother when you have a board in your own? Should you say, 'Friend, let me help you get that speck out of your eye,' when you can't even see because of the board in your own? Hypocrite! First get rid of the board. Then you can see to help your brother. (TLB, Matthew 7:1-5)

Don't criticize and speak evil about each other, dear brothers. If you do, you will be fighting against God's law of loving one another, declaring it is wrong. But your job is not to decide whether this law is right or wrong, but to obey it. Only he who made the law can rightly judge among us. He alone decides to save us or destroy. So what right do you have to judge or criticize others? (TLB, James 4:11-12)

We should not infer that criminal activity should go unrestrained or unpunished: the laws of Moses had strong sanctions for criminal acts, and the Bible strongly supports civil governments. (See the section on Government.) However, we are reminded that judgment is reserved for God and we should concentrate on correcting our own faults rather than criticizing others for their faults.

Anger and Revenge
No one makes us angry. Anger is our own emotional response to some action or event. More often than not, our angry feelings are based on a misinterpretation of what someone said or did. Expressing anger tends to prolong and reinforce our anger rather than purge it. Angry words and actions are much more likely to escalate hostilities and block communication than to solve a problem. Whether between parent and child, spouses, friends, or nations, expressions of anger divide us and drive us toward open hostility.
It is all too easy to react to life's annoyances and disappointments with anger. It is far more challenging, but much better, to react with understanding and empathy. In this way, we can quickly settle disputes and avoid turning minor incidents into major battles. The humble demeanor is a perfect tool for avoiding disputes and hard feelings.

A fool always loses his temper, but a wise man holds it back. (NAS, Proverbs 29:11)

My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. (NIV, James 1:19-20)

Holding a grudge can consume us with hatred, blocking out all enjoyment of life. A grudge clouds our judgment and may lead us to an act of revenge that can never be undone.

"'Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD. (NIV, Leviticus 19:18)

An angry man stirs up dissension, and a hot-tempered one commits many sins. (NIV, Proverbs 29:22)

Bearing a grudge and seeking revenge are never appropriate responses to a perceived wrong. A grudge destroys the grudge-holder with bitterness; revenge only escalates hostilities. Jesus told us we must reconcile with our adversaries, forgive their transgressions, and let go of the anger that may tempt us to commit an act of revenge:

"Under the laws of Moses the rule was, 'If you murder, you must die.' But I have added to that rule and tell you that if you are only angry, even in your own home, you are in danger of judgment! If you call your friend an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse him, you are in danger of the fires of hell. (TLB, Matthew 5:21-22)

Returning love for hatred can often cool the fires of anger. It is very difficult not to respond to anger with even more anger. However, when we respond to anger with empathy and love, we can often break the cycle of hatred and convert even our enemies into friends. Jesus gave us the unique command to love even our enemies:

"There is a saying, 'Love your friends and hate your enemies.' But I say: Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way you will be acting as true sons of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust too. If you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even scoundrels do that much. If you are friendly only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even the heathen do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. (TLB, Matthew 5:43-48)

By humility we acknowledge that God created us for his purposes and not for our self-glorification. By humility we acknowledge the dignity of all God's people. By humility we cool the angry passions of others. By humility we can turn enemies into friends.

A humble demeanor is not a denial of our worth as individuals. Rather, it is the tool that allows us, insofar as possible, to be on good terms with all persons.

Related verses: Deuteronomy 22:1-2, Psalms 37:7-13, Psalms 147:5-6, Proverbs 11:12, Proverbs 12:13-14, Proverbs 12:16, Proverbs 14:17, Proverbs 14:29, Proverbs 15:4, Proverbs 15:28, Proverbs 17:13-14, Proverbs 17:27, Proverbs 19:1, Proverbs 19:11, Proverbs 20:3, Proverbs 20:15, Proverbs 20:19, Proverbs 20:22, Proverbs 21:23-24, Proverbs 25:11-12, Proverbs 25:28, Proverbs 26:12, Matthew 5:38-42, Matthew 7:12, Matthew 20:25-28, Luke 6:20-26, Luke 6:41-42, Luke 14:8-11, Luke 22:25-27, John 13:13-15, John 13:34-35, John 15:12, Acts 20:35, Romans 2:1, Romans 12:3, Romans 12:14-21, Romans 15:1-2, 1 Corinthians 3:18-21, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, Galatians 5:19-23, Galatians 5:26, Ephesians 4:29, Ephesians 4:31-32, Philippians 2:3-8, Colossians 3:5-9, Colossians 3:12-14, Hebrews 10:22-24, James 1:26-27, James 3:13-18, 1 Peter 3:8-11, 1 Peter 5:5-6.

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 2017/8/29 6:32Profile

Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 36870
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11


Amen brother. A Kempis followed the way of Christ that says up is actually down. The diminishing of self is in the end the saving of ones self.

Letting others have the last word and being willing to be last. Serving others instead of being better then them.

Only the graces of Christ in us give us the ability to follow in this way. But follow we must.

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2017/8/29 6:53Profile

Joined: 2008/8/13
Posts: 600


"I would rather feel contrition than know the definition thereof" Thomas A kempis

True humility is not acquired by lexical or theological mastery, but through life changing, intimate encounter with God.

 2017/8/29 6:57Profile

Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 1971
Joplin, Missouri


Passerby, my sentiments exactly. Just the thought that was coming to my mind as I read the recent posts. There are things that humility does. But the things that humility does are genuine only as they proceed out of what humility is. I pray that we become what He is by spending time in intimacy with Him.


 2017/8/29 8:25Profile

Joined: 2016/6/4
Posts: 941
Johannesburg, South Africa

 Re: Humility

Agreed. Only the Holy Spirit can work humility in us as we yield ourselves and cooperate with Him, as in all fruit of the Spirit and characteristics found in Christ.
We are not suddenly all humble, just because we received Christ and confessed Him as Lord., although a measure of humility is required to confess our sins and shortcomings and look to the Saviour to reconcile us to God.

Moses was surely not born the most humble man on earth but through trials and failures and 40 years in the backside of the desert and the revelation of God in the burning bush etc. he was transformed and moulded into a truly humble man.

Probably the most beautiful portrait is the one found in Phillipians:

Imitating Christ’s Humility
2 Therefore if you have any encouragement
from being united with Christ, if any comfort
from his love, if any common sharing in the
Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then
make my joy complete by being like-minded,
having the same love, being one in spirit and of
one mind. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or
vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others
above yourselves, 4not looking to your own interests
but each of you to the interests of the others.
5In your relationships with one another, have
the same attitude of mind Christ Jesus had:
6 Who, being in very nature d God,
did not consider equality with God
something to be used to his own
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature e of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a human
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest
and gave him the name that is above
every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should
in heaven and on earth and under the
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus
Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.


 2017/8/29 9:31Profile

Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 1971
Joplin, Missouri


Amen William, Amen!


 2017/8/29 10:27Profile

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