HANDOUT FOR SERMON: WE MUST LEARN TO PRACTICE HUMLITY. September 3rd, 2023, 9:30 a.m. Manchester, TN
INTRODUCTION: I think we all would agree that pride is obnoxious, annoying, and dangerous. So why do we still struggle with it? Have you ever wondered: “Am I the problem?” Have you ever asked: “Why am I so selfish? Have you ever thought: How can I live a happier and more peaceful life?”
God speaks about humility and the value of being humble. We read about it and study it but it seems humility is an elusive trait. We are often told to be humble without being told how! True spiritual maturity and growth can be measured by one’s humility or lack of it! Becoming humble and being humble can only be achieved by following the path of Jesus Christ. In following Jesus, the Son of God, we learn how to think more of God and more like God and then we will start behaving like God and the result will be you will think LESS OF SELF and more about OTHERS! There is a difference in having knowledge about humility and practicing it and becoming a humble person like Christ!
Scripture: Matthew 11:28-30, Philippians 2:3-11
1.WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT PRIDE. God mentions “pride” often is His Holy Word. From this we can conclude that believers and non-believers are susceptible to this problem and this is sin. In order for us to ever become humble like Christ we must conquer, take captive and restrain “self” for the rest of our lives.
Scripture: Proverbs 8:13, Proverbs 16:5, James 4;6, 1 John 2:16, Mark 7:20-23
What does it mean to be proud? How can I know if I am a prideful and arrogant person or not? An easy test for ourselves is to ask these questions:
• If you think you’ve earned what you have.
• If you think your way, is the only way.
• If you think you know better than God.
• If you think you are in control.
• If you think you don’t need to change.
• If you can’t say you are sorry.
• If you think other people don’t respect you enough.
• If you resent when things are not perfect in your life.
• If you are jealous when someone else gets the attention.
• If you are angry when don’t get the credit.
Pride shows itself when:
• We are self-focused. “I’m great!” Romans 12:3
• We compare ourselves with others. “I’m better!” Matthew 7:3
• We think of self as an exemption. “I’m different!” Matthew 26:31
2. PRACTING HUMILTY. “ Ways to Think Less of Yourself and of Yourself Less!”
• PRAY FOR SOMEONE ELSE. It is easy for us to become self-absorbed. We naturally take care of our own needs and solve our own problems. Sometimes we can grow concerned with our own thoughts, needs, wishes, and experiences in a way that is against God’s will. Bible examples to consider: Genesis 18:12-22, Abraham & Sodom. Exodus 32:30-34 Moses & the Israelites. Other Scripture: Colossians 1:9-10, 2:1, 4:3-4, Phil. 2:3-4
• CONSIDER THE OTHER SIDE. This can be very difficult because we think we are right! We will need to suspend our defense of our perspective first to consider the other side in a fair manner. Because we are so convinced we are right, we have little patience with others on all levels, even Biblically. We do not like to think we might be wrong! Scripture: Acts 18:24-26 Story of Apollos, Acts 17:11-12, 1 Kings 12:8 & 15 King Rehoboam ignored the counsel of the older wise men for the younger guys!
• DO A GOOD DEED SECRETLY. As nice as it is to be praised it can become a problem and our own downfall. We can easily become addicted to being noticed and then learn “how to play the crowd!” Humility demands another path – the path of secret service. Scripture: Matthew 6:1-4 & 17 God is concerned about our heart and our motives. Why are we doing what we are doing? It is inevitable that others will occasionally see us doing good yet this should not be our reason for doing it.
• REFUSE TO COMPLAIN. Whining and complaining is a national pastime! It dominates our conversations and thought process. Humility demands a different course: -refuse to complain. Scripture: Philippians 2:14-15, 1 Peter 4:9 God simply says: stop complaining and grumbling, so why do we do it? Hospitality involves welcoming, providing for someone (especially strangers). The danger of hospitality is that it can be taxing and exhausting – so we end up resenting it. So, we therefore complain! We may not have the “ideal life” to be perfectly happy, but God still demands us not to complain and grumble. Refusing to complain will: help in our relationships and redeem our relationships/deepen our relationship with God/practice humility so we become even better at being humble.
• BE NICE TO SOMEONE UNDERSERVING. Some people don’t deserve kindness. Maybe we have a long history with them, maybe their personality is unpleasant, however, God does not give exceptions to whom we are to love, be kind to and do good toward. God says do so to all men. Scripture: 1 Samuel 10:27, 11:12-13, 15:7 Saul & Ammonite prisoners, Luke 6:27-29 & 32-34. We tend to be nice to those who are nice towards us because undeserving people offer no guarantees. In fact, we can almost be certain of the opposite.
• 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.
• 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 to 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 are personal slights, ugliness, and grudges.
God tells us to forgive like HE FORGIVES. So, you must let it go.
• 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!