Humility before Honor

As long as a person is proud, he cannot know God.

Matthew 18:4 "Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

MATTHEW 18:1-5; MARK 9:30-37; LUKE 9:46-48

It is interesting that Jesus used a little child to illustrate humility. Although it is true that little children have a purity and humility that is many times missing in adults, they certainly are not selfless. A child comes into the world totally self-centered, wanting what he wants when he wants it. Parents are to train children out of this self-centeredness.

One of humility’s dominant characteristics is a God-dependency and not a self-sufficiency. The truth of humility being the key to greatness or success was not new. Jesus gave this truth new meaning by walking in humility as no one ever had before.

This path of self-denial to greatness is exactly opposite to the world’s path of exalting self at everyone else’s expense. The path of humility could not possibly work if there was no God. We would simply be trampled underfoot.

Humility is a step of faith – faith that God is the judge and that promotion comes from Him (Ps. 75:6-7), and faith that God will resist the proud but give grace unto the humble (1 Pet. 5:5). Humility is trusting in God and not in ourselves. This is why it is easy to be humble when we’ve failed, and conversely, hard to be humble when we’ve achieved great success. This is precisely why Paul commanded Timothy not to put a novice into a position of leadership in the church. Pride is self-sufficiency and self-exaltation while humility is self-denial and dependence upon God.

God’s kingdom is founded upon this principle of humility before honor. God’s kind of love is selfless as can be seen by Jesus’ own actions. Pride is the only reason that strife comes (Prov. 13:10); so remember, humility is the key to walking in love with our brothers and sisters in the Lord.

awmi devotional

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2 thoughts on “Humility before Honor”

  1. Amen! I struggle to try to explain this, “be selfish,” doesn’t quite sound right, but we have to have the humility to allow God to fix us first and than to fix us some more. Children can be selfish, but they are also full of humility and wonder and they really just want to be delighted in. When we delight in the Lord, He delights in us, and it is transformative, it changes everything. Honor is really an adult concept and it speaks to having dignity and perhaps and sacrificial nature, being of service, not bad things at all, but to truly come before Christ, we have to sacrifice dignity, let go of pride and become aware that there is nothing, no service we can provide, that will ever earn us grace. Children seem to be much better at that then we are 🙂

    1. Such an excellent comment! (and understanding of the nature of God and us).
      Nothing to add here.
      I especially love: …to truly come before Christ, we have to sacrifice dignity, let go of pride….
      Thanks much.

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