Humility Through Suffering

Posted by on Jul 22, 2011 in Blog, Virtue | 0 comments

“Don’t break your arm patting yourself on your back”

By Ruth Winland, my great-aunt

As I was researching scriptures about humility and pride, I came across 1 Peter and got stuck on this passage in chapter five.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. “

1 Peter 5:6

First, I was struck that humility is under God’s hand.  This means that we are not humble on our own.  We need God in order to be a humble person.  Naturally we are prideful, self-centered, and selfish.  God creates in us humility.  He does this in a few different ways and he has other purposes in those ways.

This passage also struck me because we often times want more than we are actually given.  We think we deserve more than what we have.  We think that somehow we are more than we actually are.  God wants to lift us up, but he can’t do that if we are doing it ourselves.  If I were to tell other people how pretty I am and how great I am at xyz skill, not only would people be irritated with me, I would leave no room for others to compliment me.  I have already done that myself.  If I tell God how great I am at a skill he equipped me to have, I give him no room to actually use my skill the way he designed it to be used.  I do the skill in my own way and therefore limit the skill to my own power, which really isn’t that much or none at all.

If you keep reading it gets better:

“Be self-controlled and alert.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

1 Peter 5:8

My enemy, the devil is looking for something in someone.  What is he looking for?  He is looking for weakness.  He is going to inflict people with different sufferings and wait to see how we are going to react.  When we struggle, he will feed off of our struggle to make things worse.  We often times make things harder than they actually are because we are focused so much on the problem rather than on our Problem-Solver.  The devil will be looking for our soft spots to push, bruise, and inflict pain.  He starts out small but will keep pushing and devouring until the sin, lie, or issue, etc is deeply routed into ourselves.  We often times bring about our own deeper suffering because we don’t resist him or stand firm in our faith.

“Resist him.  Standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are under going the same kind of sufferings”  1 Peter 5:9

When we resist him by telling ourselves the lie isn’t true, using scripture to fight the lie, and by not praying through the lie we set ourselves up for deeper wounds.  These take longer to heal.

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast”       1 Peter 5:10

God gives us the power to resist the devil by allowing us to suffer for a while.  Did you hear that?  We will suffer for a while.  Why?  So that we can acknowledge our weakness and our dependents on Jesus.  This will then cause us to become stronger so when the devil is prowling around us again, we are equipped to resist him even more.   The life of a Christian is not easy, nor should it be.  In order to become more like Christ we need to be humble.  In order to be humble we need to suffer a little while so that we can acknowledge our Creator of our gifts, talents, beauty, etc.

Our Creator wants the praise and glory for what he has equipped us to do.  When we are humble, he will lift us up in due time so he may use it for his glory, honor, and praise.  When we do things on our own, without acknowledging our Creator, we are doing them in vain.

What am I saying?

  1. Acknowledge that the skill or talent that you have is from God
  2. Do it without boasting or expecting others to notice
  3. Thank people who do compliment you, still acknowledging where it came from
  4. Rely on God, the author and perfecter of our faith for the power to do your skill or talent
  5. Use your skill or talent
  6. Be thankful for the skill or talent you have been given
  7. Be content with the skill or talent you have been given

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