WEEK 3: Humility
“For who makes you superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not receive it?” (1 Corinthians 4:7, ISV)
This rhetorical question from Paul is enough to inspire humility in even the most skilled and successful people in the world: “What do you have that you did not receive?” Just think about that for a moment… ‘Your’ education, ‘your’ skills, ‘your’ talents, ‘your’ achievements, ‘your’ health, ‘your’ possessions, ‘your’ children, and yes! Even ‘your’ faith! None of these things were achieved solely by your own efforts. They were imparted or given to you by God or others. One need only consider the logical implications of the following truth: you didn’t decide where, when and to whom you would be born.
Paul’s last question in the verse above is aimed at ridding us of pride. How can you boast about something that you did not achieve on your own? The answer: You can’t! I can’t take credit for what you have done if both of us did the job together, and you can’t take credit for what I have done if both of us have done the job together. In the same way, not one of us can take full credit for the ‘good’ people we are or ‘good’ things that what we do, because we could not exist without God and we can do nothing good without Him (John 15:5). We must submit ourselves to God and allow Him to shape us into who He wants us to be, and then we must give praise to Him for making us that way.
Our natural response to success is pride, and there is much temptation to look at something amazing and beautiful that you were only a part of and say: “Wow! Look at what I have achieved! I am so proud of myself.”
But it is only when we come to realise that everything we have has been given to us by God that we can truly humble ourselves and give glory to God for the things He has given to us.
Take some time to reflect on our perfect example of humility in Philippians 2:5-11 – Jesus Christ Himself.
Prayer Points: Thank the Lord for as many things as you possibly can: your education, talents, job, skills, achievements, posessions, children, health, life, family, toys, etc.