Humility: the Living Word for the NOW Generation
Humility: The Living Word for The Now Generation
We live in a world of get and get more, of high demands upon you to succeed, to accomplish great tasks and feats, to always climb the ladder of success using the heads of others as our stepping stones to higher accomplishment. The thoughts of humility, meekness, kindness, submissiveness are actions of the weak, those who would have no stomach for the successes we see in the world around us. It is be proud, be seen, be all about yourself, go for the gold ring, at the cost of family, friends, relationship and all that would be deemed holy. Sell your soul to the devil's devices, so to speak, until you are king of the mountain and never look another man in the eye, unless you plan to completely devour him.
Now more than ever we see women doing the same thing, simply because they feel they have to outdo men in their own bid for being on top, no longer looked upon as the weaker sex. This has become a notation of disgust in their minds. If you have ever watched the "Apprentice", a reality show put on by Donald Trump, you will understand what I'm talking about.
But, in the eyes of God these are part of the seven things he absolutely hates about our character and they are the flaws that will deem us unable to apprehend the Kingdom of Heaven.
16These six things the Lord hates, indeed, seven are an abomination to Him:
17A proud look [the spirit that makes one overestimate himself and underestimate others], a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18A heart that manufactures wicked thoughts and plans, feet that are swift in running to evil,
19A false witness who breathes out lies [even under oath], and he who sows discord among his brethren.
20My son, keep your father's [God-given] commandment and forsake not the law of [God] your mother [taught you].
21Bind them continually upon your heart and tie them about your neck.
Verse 20, could say; "My son, my Daughter, keep your father's commandment... " That which your father has held dear to his heart, because it is the WAY of the Lord. But, fathers who are bound upon success, have little time for their children and the God-given advice has become few and far between. The mother is now finding that in today's economy, just to make it and give her family ALL the things the world demands of us, she has little time for God or the thoughts and meditations about God as Heavenly Father. This children's, my children's generation is left to grasp only at the darkness that is beating down the moral standards of a losing generation... losing the hold upon precious, values, virtue, character building, family structure, love for ones neighbour. Single families, such as after the two great world wars are killing us as fast as the war machine devoured young men. Except this time it isn't taking them off to another shore to die... it's sneaking into their minds and stealing their thought life, their love for others and replacing it with self driven, self edifying, self only and only self that matters and to hell with everyone and everything else. Problem is, to hell it is all going.
Why am I using this analogy of truth and logic around the word humble or the action of humility?
Because God, in the upside down Kingdom, (as it has been expressed) says that it is with those of this "spirit", that he remains close to... even comes and resides with.
For thus says the high and lofty One--He Who inhabits eternity, Whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, but with him also who is of a thoroughly penitent and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the thoroughly penitent [bruised with sorrow for sin].
For all these things My hand has made, and so all these things have come into being [by and for Me], says the Lord. But this is the man to whom I will look and have regard: he who is humble and of a broken or wounded spirit, and who trembles at My word and reveres My commands.
These words written by the prophet Isaiah are from the third section of his writings; called the Message of Hope. We have been hearing a number of different messages since 911 of doom and gloom, of judgement, without much introduction to the God of comfort, and the God of hope. The book of Isaiah I believe could be a spotlight into the very times we live in now; if we consider the Christian world awaiting a Saviour. I can remember the aggressive messages during the late 70's, over the thoughts of Jesus coming. It is 40 years and 2 generations (born) later and the reality is that there are yet things to happen on the earth before the great day arrives. The year 2000, brought about many who thought, this is it! But a decade is now behind us.
From the time of Isaiah until the Messiah (Jesus) came was some 400 years and he came at a specific time all programmed by God. The Old World Jews are still looking for his coming.
Have I diverted in my thoughts on humility? No..., I only want to introduce you to the concept of who God esteems and reveres, so that we might see our prayers being answered as we call upon him for the sake of the world and our families.
Then he said to me, Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your mind and heart to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come as a consequence of [and in response to] your words.
Daniel prayed prayers of repentance for the situation of his fellow Jews, and he included himself in the actions of their sin against God.
Better it is to be of a humble spirit with the meek and poor than to divide the spoil with the proud.
A man's pride will bring him low, but he who is of a humble spirit will obtain honor.
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God?
Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example in humility:]
(ALL SCRIPTURE FROM: AMPLIFIEID BIBLE)
We have an example to follow, even to the death... to the death is really the easier part of this scenario... to live a daily life of dying to self, now that' s a whole different scene!
Taken from the Latin 'humilitus', a noun relating to the adjective, 'humilis', and translated as 'humble' or "low", meaning from the "earth".
Humility is a spiritual virtue and is quite different from the act of humiliation. Although the former may follow as a consequence of the latter.
In Christianity: An adjective of the word humble. A quality of being modest, reverential, politely submissive, never arrogant, contemptuous, or rude, but a life of self-abnegation.
Humility is defined as, "A quality by which a person considering his own defects has a humble opinion of himself and willingly submits himself to God and to others for God's sake, St Bernard defines it as, "A virtue by which a man knowing himself as he truly is, abases himself. Jesus Christ is the ultimate definition of Humility."
Quite different from the character "Uriah Heep", from Charles Dickens novel, David Copperfield who personified the actions of false humility.
You will find an explanation of humility in all the major religions of the world. Should they each act upon this virtue we could all have a greater amount of peace on earth.
Humility in Philosophy
Kant is among the first philosophers to conceive of humility as "that meta-attitude" that constitutes the moral agent's proper perspective on himself as a dependent and corrupt but capable and dignified rational agent. Kant's notion of humility is that humility is a virtue, and indeed a central virtue. Mahatma Ghandi is attributed as suggesting that attempting to sustain truth without humility is doomed to cause it to become instead an "arrogant caricature" of truth.
Humility is considered an important virtue in taoism. The following quote describes how a wise person should see his accomplishments, according to the Tao Te Ching (77.4)
[a wise person] acts without claiming the results as his; he achieves his merit and does not rest (arrogantly) in it: -- he does not wish to display his superiority.
Humility in Leadership
Humility is being studied as a trait that can enhance leadership effectiveness. The research suggests that humility is multi-dimensional and includes self-understanding and awareness, openness, and perspective taking.
Where your pursuit of God has gained you greatness, your humility and sense of inadequacy must come from the same place -- from the realization whatever you have gained is a gift from God, and that you must constantly challenge yourself to be equal to what you have been given. (An excerpt from Jewish writing on humility)
A Secret of Secrets: Humility the Soul of True Prayer.
Till the spirit of the heart be renewed, till it is emptied of all earthly desires, and stands in an habitual hunger and thirst after God, which is the true spirit of prayer; till then, all our prayer will be, more or less, but too much like lessons given to scholars; and we shall mostly say them, only because we dare not neglect them. But be not discouraged; take the following advice, and then you may go to church without any danger of mere lip-labor or hypocrisy, although there should be a hymn or a prayer, whose language is higher than that of your heart. Do this: go to the church as the publican went to the temple; stand inwardly in the spirit of your mind in that form which he outwardly expressed, when he cast down his eyes, and could only say, "God be merciful to me, a sinner." Stand unchangeably, at least in your desire, in this form or state of heart; it will sanctify every petition that comes out of your mouth; and when anything is read or sung or prayed, that is more exalted than your heart is, if you make this an occasion of further sinking down in the spirit of the publican, you will then be helped, and highly blessed, by those prayers and praises which seem only to belong to a heart better than yours.
This, my friend, is a secret of secrets; it will help you to reap where you have not sown, and be a continual source of grace in your soul; for everything that inwardly stirs in you, or outwardly happens to you, becomes a real good to you, if it finds or excites in you this humble state of mind. For nothing is in vain, or without profit to the humble soul; it stands always in a state of divine growth; everything that falls upon it is like a dew of heaven to it. Shut up yourself, therefore, in this form of Humility; all good is enclosed in it; it is a water of heaven, that turns the fire of the fallen soul into the meekness of the divine life, and creates that oil, out of which the love to God and man gets its flame. Be enclosed, therefore, always in it; let it be as a garment wherewith you are always covered, and a girdle with which you are girt; breathe nothing but in and from its spirit; see nothing but with its eyes; hear nothing but with its ears. And then, whether you are in the church or out of the church, hearing the praises of God or receiving wrongs from men and the world, all will be edification, and everything will help forward your growth in the life of God. (An excerpt From Andrew Murray's Book; The Beauty of Holiness, 1885)
A 13th century philosopher and theologian in the Scholastic tradition, defines humility similarly as "the virtue of humility" that "consists in keeping oneself within one's own bounds, not reaching out to things above one, but submitting to one's superior" (Summa Contra Gent., bk. IV, ch. lv, tr Joseph Ricaby).
Humility is said to be a fit recipient of grace; according to the words of St. James, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble" (Proverbs 3:34, 1 Peter 5:5, James 4:6 NIV).
Submitting to God and legitimate authority
Recognizing virtues and talents that others possess, particularly those that surpass one's own, and giving due honor and, when required, obedience. Recognizing the limits of one's talents, ability, or authority; and, not reaching for what is beyond one's grasp.
Pride is either a high sense of one's personal status or ego (i.e., leading to judgments of personality and character) or the specific mostly positive emotion that is a product of praise or independent self-reflection. Philosophers and social psychologists have noted that pride is a complex secondary emotion which requires the development of a sense of self and the mastery of relevant conceptual distinctions (e.g., that pride is distinct from happiness and joy) through language-based interaction with others. One definition of pride in the first sense comes from St. Augustine "the love of one's own excellence".
Most world religions consider it a sin.
This is because behind every sin is the worship of yourself.
When swelling and pride come, then emptiness and shame come also, but with the humble (those who are lowly, who have been pruned or chiselled by trial, and renounce self) are skillful and godly Wisdom and soundness.
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
A man's pride will bring him low, but he who is of a humble spirit will obtain honor.
So we can come to the conclusion that humility has its very real and valuable place in our character as God has placed upon it an extremely high value within his heart regarding our prayer life and as a Kingdom Principle.
That he in his Fatherly advice to us, To "seek wisdom", that in wisdom we would have ALL the attributes of humility, following closely after Christ.
Will humility be the end all that leads us into a perfect Saintly empowerment to still the winds of adversity and open up a magical path on our journey of faith? Don't be absurd; but it is a virtue of great importance and one that adds a powerful element to and of our spiritual experience.
Amplified Bible, (Bible Gateway)
Andrew Murray (Book: Beauty of Holiness)
. www.wikipedia.org (For dictionary, Latin, and other thoughts on the subject)
I have added a link to a dear friend here on hub pages for her terrific writing and an extension to what I have written here. I highly recommend her hub.
"Holiness which Blooms Only in The Soil of Humility" by, Rev Lady/Florida U.S.
- Holiness Which Blooms Only in the Soil of Humility
Humility is not the subtle self imposed misery that disparages oneself. It is not that cowardice which protects itself by a groveling Uriah Heep insincerity.
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