Hope Reflected

Encouragement and Hope from God's Word

humility Archive

Wednesday

6

May 2020

Pride

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

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"Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off." (Psalm 138:6) | Read more about pride at hopereflected.com

Beware the great destroyer

One of the ways that pride destroys our lives is by pulling us away from the Lord. When we get puffed up with self-empowerment, we push God away. Have you ever noticed that during those times when you’re always right and up on your soapbox, you can’t hear God? David wrote in Psalm 138:6, “Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.” Whenever it feels like God can’t hear us, or as though He’s being distant, we should question, is it Him, or is it me? We may be surprised at the answer, after all God knows the proud from afar but “he forgetteth not the cry of the humble.” (Psalm 9:12)

“Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.”

Psalm 138:6

If we are growing in relationship with God, then we are dying to self so that we can live for Him. If God comes first in our lives, that doesn’t leave any room for pride. “I have set the LORD always before me:” David wrote in Psalm 16:8, “because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.” David didn’t set himself first, he put the Lord first. When we put the Lord first, He is our confidence! That we no longer need to be self-reliant should be such a relief to us.

At the root of the struggle

Beware the great destroyer. For many, pride is holding them back; it is at the root of their struggle to accept Christ as Saviour. To experience true salvation, we have to admit things that pride – read, sin – doesn’t want us to confess. Who wants to be honest and confess that they’re a sinner? No takers? Who wants to admit that they need help? Who wants to get down on their knees and acknowledge that nothing that they do is going to get them into Heaven? Pride, – one of Satan’s weapons of choice, the great destroyer, – doesn’t want any of us to do that.

We can’t earn our salvation

Pride is that false confidence that convinces us that we can earn our salvation. “I go to church,” “I take communion,” “I do good things,” “I’m kind to others,” “I give money,” “I volunteer,” – “I” is at the very centre of sin and pride, quite literally. No amount of money or good deeds is going to get us into Heaven. Nothing but confessing our sin and acknowledging Christ as our Saviour can open that door. Is pride holding you back?

“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”

1 Corinthians 10:12

Another way pride destroys our lives is by puffing us up only to shamefully deflate us. “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.” (1 Corinthians 10:12) We know that God hates it, and yet so often we allow pride to make fools out of us. “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,” (Proverbs 12:15). C.S. Lewis called pride “the chief of all misery… Without pride there is no offense. Pride is what made the devil the devil.” We should not give place to pride, as Lewis said, “For pride is spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense.”

You can read more about pride here.

Originally published as “Pride” Independent Plus. February 21, 2020: 6. Print. Web.

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Tuesday

20

August 2019

Practical ways to live your faith

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"Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16) Practical ways to live your faith | Read more at hopereflected.com

Sometimes it’s the things we don’t say that have the biggest impact

Sometimes it is the things that we don’t say that have the biggest impact on the lives of others. The old adage “actions speak louder than words” is very true, especially when it comes to living out your faith. Your peers aren’t interested in how you are on Sunday; however, they will notice if how you are on Sunday is different than the other days of the week. We shouldn’t be any different on Wednesday or Thursday than we are on the Sabbath.

So what are some practical ways to live your faith?

Practical ways to live your faith

Be kind

Be kind. As early as the book of Genesis, we read about the virtue of kindness. In Genesis 24, we read about Abraham’s servant praying that the Lord will show kindness to Abraham. This theme of kindness carries through the Old Testament, in the histories of Joseph, Joshua, Ruth, David, Esther, Jonah, and into the New Testament. Kindness is a very practical way to live your faith. We’re instructed many times in the Bible to show kindness to others, “…clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, gentleness, and patience.” (Colossians 3:12). And it’s no wonder, as kindness is one of God’s many beautiful attributes (Titus 3:4). As Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Live your faith by being humble

There’s also humility, and we all know that being humble is hard to do. We get caught up in who’s right, who should get credit, and who deserves to come out on top, but as Ezra Taft Benson once said, “Pride is concerned with who is right, humility is concerned with what is right.” Many times throughout the epistles, Paul encourages Christians to be humble, which indicates to me that humility is important, and also something that we need to be constantly reminded about. In Ephesians 4:2, Paul writes that we should walk worthy, “with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love.” With all lowliness and meekness, not just some, not just when it’s convenient, not just when you don’t have a vested interest in the outcome of a situation. Humility is a habit, and it’s another practical way of living your faith.

Practice patience

Patience, or longsuffering as Paul calls it, is another practical way of living your faith. Psalm 37:7 says that we should “Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for him;” and whoever said waiting isn’t work clearly wasn’t doing it right. Aristotle once said that, “patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” Scripture shows us that we should demonstrate patience in many areas of our lives: In decisions (Psalm 37:7), in afflictions and trials (Romans 12:12), in love (1 Corinthians 13:4), in doing good (Galatians 6:9), even with one another (Ephesians 4:2). If you’re tempted to lose patience, just remember how patient God is with you. Don’t lose heart! You can be a living demonstration of God’s power when you learn to practice patience. “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Faither which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16) Kindness, humility, and patience are just a few of the practical ways that to live your faith.  

Originally published as “Practical ways to live your faith.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest ConfederateWalkerton Herald-Times. May 9, 2019: 6. Print. Web.

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Monday

4

March 2019

Don’t take yourself too seriously

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

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It’s a liberating thing when you can learn to laugh

We often get caught up worrying about life, work, other people, what other people think of us, and ourselves, but consider how much more fulfilling life is when you can learn to not take yourself so seriously. Rather than looking in, start looking out, and learn how to let go.

Don’t take yourself too seriously; learn to let go and to laugh. Nobody is perfect; we are all human, and we are all prone to err. Taking yourself too seriously is a huge indicator of pride. The Bible says that, “when pride comes, then comes shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2) There’s something so freeing about not taking yourself too seriously. It’s a liberating thing when you can learn to laugh and when you learn to accept that it’s not “all about you” and how you’re feeling. People around you will appreciate you all the more for it, and God will bless you for it. “Before destruction the heart of man is haughty; and before honour is humility.” (Proverbs 18:12)

When you take yourself too seriously, you’re trying to take control away from God (and we all know that’s just not possible). Pride puts forth a lot of effort into controlling circumstances, but faith puts trust in the One who controls the universe. “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7) As a Christian, not taking yourself too seriously doesn’t mean that you act immaturely or carelessly; it means that you’ve got faith and you’re resting in the Lord’s strength rather than your own.

Not taking yourself too seriously doesn’t mean that you don’t have confidence, quite the contrary; not taking yourself too seriously means that you’re all the more secure in who God has made you. As Christians, we have every reason to be secure in the Lord. We don’t have to take ourselves too seriously because we stand firm in our faith. As it says in 2 Corinthians 9:8, in all things at all times, we have all that we need in God. He is our rock, our refuge, our shield, our strength – our security is in Him. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)

You’ve likely read – or at least heard of – Proverbs 31, which tells of the virtuous woman. One of her virtues is that “she shall rejoice in time to come” (Proverbs 31:25). Some versions of the Bible say that, “she can laugh at the days to come.” As I said above, it’s a liberating thing when you can learn to laugh. We don’t have to take ourselves too seriously because we know who controls the future. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) We need not worry about tomorrow, because we know who holds tomorrow.

Don’t take yourself too seriously, and don’t take others too seriously, either. The most important one to take seriously is God.

Originally published as “Don’t take yourself too seriously.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. November 15, 2018: 6. Print. Web.

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Thursday

2

August 2018

Truths about Pride

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"None is so empty as those who are full of themselves." Benjmain Whichcote | See more at hopereflected.com #quotes #qotd #bestquotes

Truths about Pride

Truths about pride from the book of Proverbs.

Pride. It’s personal. It’s not always public. It’s quite often your own perception of yourself. Pride starts in your heart, pride causes problems, and pride brings you down. Someone once said that “pride is at the bottom of all great mistakes,” which is ironic because pride will tell you that you’re at the top above everybody else.

The Bible is filled with verses about pride – more than 60 by my count – and the book of Proverbs is no exception. More a part of character than a feeling, here are three truths about pride from the book of Proverbs:

  1. Pride starts in the heart. “Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, and before honor is humility.” (Proverbs 18:12) We’re told in Jeremiah 17:9 that the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. God hates pride (Proverbs 8:13), and it should come as no surprise that pride starts in the heart. We’re told in Proverbs 16:5 that “everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD”. Pride, in its most pungent form, puts you above everybody else. Sure, pride may not always be overtly obvious, “I’m up here and you’re down there.” Maybe pride for you stems from a situation that you think should be suited to your needs. Perhaps pride for you is placing your own emotions over the facts. Or it could be that pride for you is not being willing to hear the opinions or feelings of another. Pride starts in the heart, and it won’t stop until it destroys you.
  2. Pride causes problems. “By pride comes nothing but strife, but with the well-advised is wisdom.” (Proverbs 13:10) The philosopher Benjamin Whichcote once said that, “none are so empty as those who are full of themselves.” Pride has this way of making everything about “me” and driving others away. Why did they say that about me? What does that mean for me? How is this situation going to affect me? Pride causes problems – relationally, professionally, and personally – because it puts the focus on “me”. You may be familiar with the JOY adage, “Jesus first, Others second, Yourself third”. By putting yourself first, you’re putting yourself above the Lord, and above others. And that’s bound to cause problems. As Ezra T. Benson once said, “Pride is concerned with who is right. Humility is concerned with what is right.”
  3. Pride brings you down. “A man’s pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honour.” (Proverbs 29:23) It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow, and in fact, it may not be until eternity that your pride will bring you down. Whatever the case, we’re promised in God’s Word that “when pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2) Pride starts in your heart, pride causes problems, and as a result, pride will bring you down. Proverbs 26:12 tells us that there is more hope for a fool than for a person is who is wise in their own eyes. Pride will ultimately bring you to a point where you think you’re equal – or better – than God. Psalm 10:4 says, “In his pride the wicked man does not seek Him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.” And where there’s no room for God, you’re bound for disaster. Pride will bring you down.

The deceptive thing about pride is that it’s not always obvious. Pride has this way of sneaking up on us – through private thoughts or vain victories – so it’s important that we always remain aware and keep a short account with God. Ultimately, the greatest danger of pride is that it divides us and separates us from God. As C.S. Lewis said, “As long as you are proud, you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.”

Originally published as “Pride.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. February 22, 2018: 6. Print. Web.

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Tuesday

1

August 2017

Hope Reflected | Humility

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Published Work

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Humility is not thinking less of yourself, humility is thinking of yourself less. C.S. Lewis | See more at hopereflected.com

Humility

This week, as Wes and I were discussing the subject of humility and the many verses throughout the Bible that focus on the importance of being humble, I came across this acrostic from Living Free Indeed that is so amazing! I wanted to share it with you all along with some verses and thoughts on humility that really spoke to me.

H – Honouring God and others above yourself. “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.” (Philippians 2:3) You may have heard the Ezra Benson quote that says, “Pride is concerned with who is right; humility is concerned with what is right.” It’s so true! Humility pays more attention to what is right rather than who is right; humility is not a public show where you try to make yourself look good. Humility means to honour God and others above your own self.

U – Understanding your need for grace. “When pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2) We all fall short – part of humility is recognizing this and means you’re willing – and you want – to perform personal inventory of your heart.

M – Mourning over your sin. “Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.” (Psalm 25:8-9) We are all sinners. We all make mistakes, and for most of us, it happens several times each day! Part of humility is acknowledging and mourning our sin nature.

I – Illuminating God’s glory. “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 11:29-30) When we think of Jesus, we are quick to think of the Saviour of the world as filled with strength and power (which He is!). That being said, Christ is also meek, and humble. He humbled Himself in the ultimate way when He went to the cross and died for you and me.

L – Look for ways to serve others. “Serve one another humbly in love.” (Galatians 5:13) Rather than focusing on yourself, look for ways to serve others. As C.S. Lewis said, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less.”

I – Ignore your pride and Satan’s lies. “Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, and before honour is humility.” (Proverbs 18:12) Pride will get you looking at your life from a telescope while analyzing everyone else under a microscope. Pride will tell you that it matters who is right, not what is right. Pride will judge others rather than remembering that God sees the intentions of each heart.

T – Trust God’s plan over your own. “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.” (James 4:10) God’s plan may not always make sense, and guess what? It’s not necessarily supposed to! (Isaiah 55:8-9) True humility means trusting God’s plan for your life, even when you don’t understand or only have just enough light for one step at a time. God sees the big picture; put your focus on Him.

Y – Yearning to worship. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14) Whether you like it or not, God created you, He created the world, and He is worthy of worship. We live in a broken world, and it’s only by putting our focus on Him that everything else comes in to perspective.

At first I questioned writing on the topic of humility, as Timothy Keller once said, “Humility is so shy. If you begin talking about it, it leaves.” But in our pursuit to live Christian lives, it’s important to remember the One Who so perfectly embodies true humility: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45) Christ wants to meet you where you have a need. Look to the One Who humbled Himself more than anyone else in history, yet at the same time exhibited more strength than we could ever imagine.

Originally published as “Humility.” Minto Express, Independent Plus, Arthur Enterprise-News, Mount Forest Confederate. July 20, 2017: 7. Print. Web.

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Wednesday

1

February 2017

Wednesday Wisdom | Meekness isn’t weakness

Written by , Posted in Christian Living, Wednesday Wisdom

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meekness isn't weakness; it's strength under control.

“Meekness isn’t weakness; it’s strength under control.”

I love this quote. Meekness can be defined in several ways, including gentle, humble, soft, or mild. Meekness is not weakness.

Just because you’re gentle, just because you’re humble, just because you’re kind— in no way does that mean that you are weak. In fact, I’d say quite the opposite. Meekness requires a great deal of strength.

Meekness requires strength to maintain grace and poise when others oppose you for standing up for what’s right; meekness requires strength to remain calm even though inside you’re not; meekness requires strength to have a heart and a spirit that are submitted and committed to living for the Lord.

Ephesians 4:1-2 says that we should “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called with all humility and gentleness.”

“Meekness isn’t weakness; it’s strength under control.”

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