The Virtue of Humility

December 3, 2019

The Virtue of Humility

Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time” (I Peter 5:5-6).

Pride is the enemy of humility. There is no virtue in pride. There is nothing to be gained by pride, but much is to be gained by humility. God doesn’t look with favor on the proud. Our text says that he even resists the proud. We need to be humble if we want to have God on our side. In Mark 7:21-23 pride is listed as one of the evil things that come from within a man and defile him. “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”

We need to make an effort to conquer pride in our life. It needs to be replaced by humility. Some psychologists think that pride is the antidote for a low self image. They counsel people to think of all the things they can be proud of. To the contrary, I Peter 5:5-6 tells us that the solution is for us to humble ourselves. That may be contrary to what the natural man thinks. God promises to give grace to the humble and exalt them.

I Peter 5:5 tells the younger to submit themselves to their elders. That is excellent advice. Unfortunately, many young people fail to respect their elders. They think they are old fuddy duddies who are stuck in a life style of the past and don’t know how to live in this modern world. To the contrary, their elders have much that they can teach them because they have learned over the years by personal experience and by observation what happens to those who take the broad road that leads to destruction.

There are many old folks who would consider it an honor to mentor young people. They are grieved when they see the foolish things young people are doing. Young people; don’t be hesitant to submit to your elders. They love you. They aren’t going to give you bad advice. They want the best for you. Many modern young people are going into debt to go to college. They often graduate being bigger fools than they were when they enrolled in college. They could have been better educated by listening to their elders, and it wouldn’t have cost them anything.

What would you think of an airplane pilot who is too proud to accept advice? Here he is, flying a passenger plane headed for a destination 3000 miles away. The first 1000 miles are behind him. His co-pilot says to him, “My calculations tell me that you are headed 2 degrees to the left of the course you should be on.” Instead of taking heed, the pilot says to him, “Look, I’m flying this plane. You just shut up and sit over there and do your thing.” In the end they find themselves 200 miles to the left of the airport where they were headed. To correct his mistake the pilot has to fly 200 miles to the right to get to the airport. They arrive 45 minuets late and he has consumed 50 gallons more fuel than he should have. If he continues with his haughty spirit he will reap the fruit of Proverbs 16:19. “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”

Often proud people refuse to accept someone’s invitation to go to church with them. Their reasoning is, “If we go to church they are going to criticize us for our life style.” On the contrary, if they go to a good church they are going to receive a royal welcome as soon as they enter the door. They will make them feel like they are honored guests. To their surprise, They are going to find that the people in the church are happy. They are enjoying life even though they have much higher standards than they do. If they continue attending, they are going to see the error of their way and find reasons for accepting a better life. Making the changes they need to make will be relatively easy if they accept Christ as their Savior and seek to please him.

Proverbs 16:19 says, “Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.” It isn’t easy to be humble, but it is the gateway to better things. Contrary to what many are inclined to think, humble people have a much better image than proud people do. If you are humble you will have more good friends than proud people have.

To receive God’s forgiveness and salvation and become a child of God is a humbling experience. It demands that we recognize that we are sinners in need of God’s forgiveness. According to Romans 5:10, we need to admit that we have been the enemies of God and that we need to come to him in prayer and make reconciliation. Some pray the sinner’s prayer with tears flowing from their eyes. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” Have you done that? It is the gateway to innumerable rich blessings that God wants to pour out upon those who are his.

You have much to gain by being humble. The only thing you have to lose is your pride which goes before a fall. “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall”

(Proverbs 16:19).

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