True Humility Vs. False Humility, Part 2

Last blog, we talked about the distinction between true and false humility. I think it’s an important discussion because there are two opposing definitions of humility; the world’s definition and God’s definition, both polar opposites.

We discussed more of what false humility was and just to recap, false humility basically exalts oneself over others and displays a more arrogant and conceited tone, whereas true humility actually invokes a confidence in who we are in Christ allowing us to humble ourselves to exalt others first.

Our key verse is from Colossians…

Colossians 3:12 – “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”

Humility is something we are to put on, to clothe ourselves in. It isn’t something we naturally operate in. It takes effort, practice, a heart.

We were born into a fallen world. In today’s generation, we see the attitude of entitlement, quick results or we get upset, overly confident in ourselves, always trying to get the best selfie! We have become narcissistic and competitive, prideful… says, “While someone is preoccupied with thoughts of self, they will never be free of self. While someone is preoccupied with their failings, they will never be free of self. While someone is impressed with their own achievements and talent, they will never be free of self.”

We need to learn to accept compliments, be strong is who we are and in who God created us to be in full: mind, body and spirit…

A study by psychologist Pelin Kesibir describes humility as a quiet ego and explains that humility involves a willingness to accept self’s limits and its place in the grand scheme of things, accompanied by low levels of self-preoccupation. He says a humble person is a person with a calm sense of self-mastery. Such a person knows what he/she can do well and what they are bad at and they never seek confirmation or praise.

This reminds me of David in the Old Testament…We all know the story of David and Goliath. But, if we look at the story, David truly showed humility. He was a Sheppard boy tending sheep. It probably wasn’t the position most of us would want to take. During the battle between the Israelites and the Philistines, David helped his father and tended sheep while his brothers were a part of the army. We see David was in his position and did it humbly. We don’t see him complain, “Why am I just tending sheep while my brothers get to be in battle?” He didn’t talk low of himself, but was confident in who His God was. He was so confident in God, that it came across as arrogance.

1 Samuel 17:28 – His brother says, “What about those few sheep you’re supposed to be taking care of? I know about your pride and deceit. You just want to see the battle!” But we know that David ended up defeating Goliath and becoming the king. He went from a Sheppard boy to king, because of his humility, his confidence in God and his obedience.

He could have easily been insecure about his position, jealous of his brothers, envious of the display of seemingly faith in their ability to serve at a much higher rank than shepherding sheep, but he faithfully and obediently served and God honors obedience.

Reminds me of two other verses:

Colossians 3:23– “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters…”

1 Samuel 15:22says, “…obedience is better than sacrifice…”

What it all boils down to is seeking God’s wisdom in all we do, say and think. Are we walking in true humility or false humility?

John 3:30 reads, “He must increase, and I must decrease.”

I think we take that literally. We may have been taught that to decrease, we must become lower, in a belittling position. However, what was taking place was that John and his disciples were baptizing people and people began leaving them and going over to Jesus. In verse 26,“John’s disciples came to him and said Rabbi the man you met on the other side of the Jordan River, the one you identified as the Messiah is also baptizing people and everybody is going to him instead of coming to us,” so when John responds with “I must decrease so He can increase” shows true humility. He allowed Jesus to be increased. He didn’t need the attention on himself. John knew his mission and calling and did it without reservation!

The best way to truly learn to decipher is to ask God the intent of your heart. The second way is to build yourself up! Get in the Word and know the heart of our Father.

The Bible gives us several benefits of walking a humble life.

  1. Proverbs 3:34– “If you walk with the mockers you will learn to mock,
    but God’s grace and favor flow to the meek…”

            God’s favor and grace follow those who are humble.

  1. Proverbs 22:4– “Laying your life down in tender surrender before the Lord
    will bring life, prosperity, and honor as your reward.”           

When we lay our lives down and pick up the ways of the Lord, we will walk in prosperity, life and have the honor of God on us!!

  1. Proverbs 11:2– “When you act with presumption,convinced that you’re right,don’t be surprised if you fall flat on your face!But walking in humility helps you tomake wise decisions.”

When we define what is right in our own minds, we will fall flat on our face. Without God, we have no clear direction of where we are going because we do not have the blue print for the direction of our lives without God. BUT when we submit our lives to HIM and walk in humility, we are able to see the path and He will enlighten our journey.

  1. Proverbs 15:33– “The source of revelation-knowledge is found as you fall down in surrender before the Lord. Don’t expect to see Shekinah glory until the Lord sees your sincere humility.

Shekinah glory is a visible manifestation of God on earth, whose presence is portrayed through a natural occurrence. Shekinah is a Hebrew word for “dwelling” or “one who dwells.” It’s the divine presence of God.Without a humble spirit, we cannot expect to see that Shekinah glory.

Humility believes that God is able to lead, that His Word will light our path.

Here are a few scriptures about humility…

James 4:6– “But he continues to pour out more and more grace upon us. For it says, God resists you when you are proud but continually pours out grace when you are humble.”

Proverbs 29:23– “A man’s pride will bring him low, But the humble in spirit will retain honor”

1 Peter 5:5-6– “In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, dress yourselves in humility as you relate to one another, for God opposes the proudbut gives grace to the humble. So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.”

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True Humility Vs. False Humility, Part 1

When you do something good, and someone congratulates you or tells you what a wonderful thing you did, is your response always, “Oh, it was all God.” This is something my sister and I noticed recently and talked about. We never really thought twice about it until we watched the movie, “The Apostle Paul.”

There was a scene where Paul is talking to Luke (we believe) and tells him what a wonderful healer he was. I don’t remember exactly if he said “Thank you,” or just accepted the compliment, but I do remember that he never said, “Oh it was all God.” Now, that’s NOT to say that we don’t give God the glory because ALL good things come through Him, BUT we were noticing that we not only diminish ourselves, BUT the power of God IN US when we don’t also accept our part, as well. I know this sounds a bit crazy… Let’s take our reference verse:

Colossians 3:12 – “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”

I don’t think many of us truly know the biblical definition of what humility really is.

Often times, humility is recognized negatively. We have a misconception of what humility really means. We think it means to be passive, to think low of ourselves, or talk down of ourselves. I’ve often even thought humility gave off a sense of insecurity and passivity, but as we studied, it was just the opposite!

Here’s how the dictionary defines humility:

Humility– a modest or low view of ones importance.

  • That is actually contrary to true humility.

Now, let’s look at how the Bible defines humility:

Humility – the personal quality of being free from arrogance and pride and having an accurate estimate of one’s worth.

Right away, we see that according to the world, humility is viewed as a low view of ones worth, whereas according to the Bible, humility is actually an accurate estimate of ones worth! What a contrast! We have two kinds of people running around displaying opposing views of what humility is and basically with that lack of understanding, a lot of false humility masked as pride.

True humility in fact is NOT insecure or unsure about one’s identity and self-worth! True humility describes one who IS confident in their worth in Jesus Christ! I love the quote from C.S. Lewis: “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” Wow!

It really is just recognizing our dependency on God and not ourselves. When we focus on ourselves it becomes pride and that’s the opposite of humility.

False humility

We came across a podcast from Kris Vallotton who spoke on this subject and it so struck a cord in my spirit and we began digging into more on this subject. False humility masks pride; it’s subtle. That’s why it is so easy to think we may be walking in humility, but really aren’t. It’s always good to check ourselves and ask God our motives and if our actions are lined up with His. They may seem humble because we may say things like, “I am a nobody, I have nothing to offer,” but it’s a self-depreciation. We think by demeaning ourselves, we are being humble, but that’s actually false humility.

When we demean ourselves, we are actually demeaning God. It’s no different when we talk badly about how we look. As women, we tend to have issues with appearance and when we think or say things negatively about our appearance, our behavior – we are actually talking badly about Gods creation. Think about it –we are diminishing who we are, who God created us to be. We are actually operating in pride – the focus is on US! We tend to over spiritualize scriptures and misinterpret them, or have been taught incorrectly what humility really means.

Conversely, false humility can also disguise itself in a conceited confidence, one that exalts ourselves higher than others, and remember the Biblical definition of true humility is the personal quality of being free from arrogance and pride and having an accurate estimate of one’s worth.

We encourage you to read this story in  Luke 18:9-14… This story depicts both true and false humility…

Self-righteousness is dangerous and leads to pride, which is the opposite of humility. The Pharisees probably thought they were operating in Godly confidence, but they were in fact belittling others (the tax collectors) and exalting themselves higher. Though the tax collectors obviously had a bad rep around town, God looks at the heart, and this particular tax collector was recognized by God for his true humility. The Pharisees approached God with a false humility, exalting their righteousness and good deeds above God working in them, whereas the Tax Collector approached God in a totally different manner.  He was humble and exalted God and others before himself. He showed true humility.

Jesus is our greatest example! He humbled himself on a cross and played down his life, so we could be lifted up. What to the world was mocked and seemed weak and powerless, was the greatest display of strength and power! As Alec Motyer says “He (Jesus) recognized no limit to the extent to which his obedience in self-humbling must go.”

True humility takes a strength and confidence to know who you are! You cannot display true humility without the power and confidence to express it!


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