HANDOUT FOR SERMON: PRACTICING HUMILTY PART 2. September 10th, 2023, 9:30 a.m. Manchester, TN.
INTRODUCTION: Last Sunday we looked at the problem of pride and learning to be humble. Today I would like to build more on the foundation of last week’s lesson and build a stronger sense of humility in us and a stronger ability to practice our genuine humility.
LESSON: 1.QUESTION YOUR ANGER. Anger is a sensation that tells you that something is wrong. The problem is that not everything we get angry about is justified. Scripture: Jonah 4:1-4, 4:8-9. God asked Jonah: “Is it right for you to be angry?” This is a question we should ask ourselves more often! Scripture: Ephesians 4:26-27, James 1:19-21, Proverbs 14:29, 16:32, 19:11.
2. LET IT GO. Unfortunately, we find ways to get offended and upset daily. From “poor service” at a restaurant, to a “slow driver” in front of us, to a brother we “have a different view of a scripture on and disagree with”, and even with the “political situation in our country.” We rally, fuss, and get angry. We as a people have lost the culture and wisdom of learning to get over our inconveniences and frustrations. The Bible way is to “let things go!” Scripture: Genesis 50:20-21 Joseph & His brothers. Matthew 15:23-27 The Canaanite woman with a daughter. Acts 13:13, Acts 15:9, Colossians 4:10 Paul, Barnabas, and John Mark issue. Jesus particularly stressed our need to pass God’s forgiveness on to others. This is a topic Christians truly struggle with: “letting it go!” People struggle with and have questions and concerns about forgiving others. Consider these points: Forgiveness is not about ignoring sin. It does not mean the other person “got away with it!” Forgiveness is about a steadfast determination to not let other people’s evil stick in our hearts, corrupting and embittering us. But more than just sin, a lot of hurt we experience is personal slights, ugliness, and grudges. God tells us to forgive like HE FORGIVES. So, you must let it go.
3.HOLD YOUR TONGUE. We talk a lot. Sometimes that’s because we feel an urgency to express our thoughts and ideas. If we don’t speak someone else will! They will outshine us, or maybe take the credit.
HUMILITY COMES: when we practice holding our tongues. James 1:26 “does not bridle his tongue.” A bridle is used both to limit and harness the power of the tongue for maximum effectiveness. It has a limiting effect and a harnessing effect. Like all self-discipline issues, it begins with the simple ability to say “NO” when the instinct is to speak out. James implies that our speech should be calculated. Scripture: Proverbs 10:19, Proverbs 21:23, Proverbs 17:27, Proverbs 18:13 Who held their tongue the longest in the Bible? Not sure but Job’s friend came and sat with Job for 7 days and night and no one spoke a word to him” Job 2:13 We can even honor and support someone without ever opening you mouth, this is humility.
Why is speaking less or holding one’s tongue so difficult? We are fighting the impulse or tendency to immediately say whatever we think or feel. We enjoy sharing our thoughts and opinions because we naturally think our thoughts and opinions are best. Sometimes our speech is merely filling the vacuum in a conversation. That is usually when we end up saying foolish, critical and sinful things. Lack the bridling of our tongues.
How Does This Help with Humility? Choosing silence lowers our estimation of ourselves. Silence helps us appreciate the blessing of communication and to learn to choose our words more wisely. Silence also helps us remember and shows us that we do not have all the answers. Silence helps us think of others more than ourselves. Holding our tongues means allowing others to steer the conversation. Silence opens us up to truly listen to others. Practice humility: Hold your tongue & become a better listener. Reserve your thoughts and opinions for when they are asked.
4. NOTICE YOUR GREEN GRASS. We can be restless and discontented even in the best of situations. Our world encourages us to always want more, want better and want the “newest!” We want more respect, more recognition, and more money! This restlessness and materialism can seep over into our spiritual lives as well, where we become discontent with where we are and what God has or hasn’t done for us. HUMILITY TEACHES: us to notice our own green grass. Philippians 4:11-13 Paul shows us that contentment can power us through the worst situations. The Spirit of contentment can thrive in any circumstances. We always can choose it. Paul urges us to make some choices about our mental focus as he did to these Philippian brethren. Any situation can produce “anxiety” if we allow it. In Philippians 4:6-7 We are urged to not be anxious or worry about things but rather be “THANKFUL” and give thanksgiving for your own green grass!
1 Timothy 6:8-9, Hebrews 13:5 Let us stop focusing on what others have, let us stop wanting it but rather rejoice with them for their blessings. Take the focus OFF yourself!
Why is this so hard? It is hard to keep gratitude fresh. Poor memories and a lack of discernment about God’s working contributes to our restlessness. We get bored and seek novelty, wanting something different. We are too busy focusing on others and their situations. How Does This Help with Humility? Discontentment is a pride problem. Counting our blessings will calm the restless spirit. Counting our blessings will naturally lead us into gratitude and praise. Seeing God’s hand in every aspect of our lives results in thankfulness. Focusing on our own “green grass” helps quell comparisons. It is okay that others have more or even “greener” grass! Reminds us that our happiness is not what’s important about life. God will meet our needs.
5.WAIT ON THE LORD. We live in an “instantaneous world. We can communicate instantly with almost anyone, anywhere in the world, when we want! In some way we have lost the sense of value of things. Instead of living amazed with the incredible world we inhabit, we grow bored with it. We have great expectations of “instant gratification” and when we don’t get it, we grow angry and petulant. We have lost the ability to wait. Waiting is a Biblical concept. We are taught to ”wait on the Lord” Psalm 37:7 & 9. David in Psalm 27 mentions all the people who had hurt him or wanted to hurt and harm him, yet he closes the message in verse 13-14 with the truth “be patient and wait on the Lord.” Think of all the Bible people who “waited on the Lord!” Abraham waited and wondered for decades to see and inherit the promised land and the promised child. David waited many years before he was made the King God promised he would be. Israel finally came to the promise land centuries after it was promised. If people of the Bible were expected to wait, sometimes years, for justice, salvation, and God fulfilling direct promises, how much more can I wait on and for the things I expect and want to happen? Scripture: James 5:7-8, Ephesians 4:2 &13.
Waiting is hard: Because it is unpleasant. It is often indefinite. We will do better waiting if we understand WHY! Waiting is hard when we see people who don’t have to wait, remember we are creatures of comparisons! PLEASE PRACTICE HUMILITY & WAIT ON THE LORD!