October 31, 2015

Humility Fosters Peace & Unity

Posted in Humility, Love, Unity tagged , , , , , , , , , at 10:17 pm by tclickenger

I wrapped up my post on the Advantages of Humility by mentioning that there are two more fantastic benefits.  Also, in my post on The Dangers of Pride I identified through scripture that pride causes separation, strife, contention and division.  It only follows that humility would bring the opposite results but, so we can know for sure, God spells it out in His inspired word.  Those are the benefits you are reading about today.

I believe the best introduction to these benefits and my thoughts on them would be to share how I came to discover that humility fosters peace and unity and how this began my study on this highest of virtues.

If you have read the page titled About Koinonia here on this blog or if you know me personally, you know how passionate I feel about unity of the Christian faith.  In the middle of the year of 2010 I was feeling incredibly overwhelmed by how enormous the problem of division is within the body of Christ.  I was thinking, “How in the world would all of these divisions be once again united?  What is the key?  And how can one man do anything about it?”  While studying one night on unity I came across a quote from a book called Organic Leadership, by the author Neil Cole.  In it he wrote, “We strive to be unified, but this is the wrong pursuit.  We look for things we share in common.  We try to tolerate differences under the banner of unity.  When we try to be united, we are just made more aware of our differences.  But when we pursue humility – true humility – unity is the natural by-product.  We cannot get to unity by chasing after it.  The door that leads to unity is humility.”

At the time I thought this was a secular book on leadership and so I said to myself, “That sounds good, but is it biblical?”  I then began to search the Word for passages on humility and it’s antonym pride.  Wow!!  So much material!!  God blessed me so much.  I wouldn’t even be actively searching for insights on humility and they just kept coming my way wherever I turned.  One example is, I don’t usually listen to sermons on the radio but during that time I did a few times and whenever I did, there happened to be a message about humility, pride or on one of the specific manifestation of humility or pride.

Now the quote from Organic Leadership say, “The door that leads to unity is humility.” but during this time I remembered it as saying, “The gate by which we enter into unity is humility.”  I think this was a divinely inspired misremembering (is that a word?).  There is not a whole lot of difference between these two sayings but I think you will understand the significance of slight variation as I explain what happened later.

It was roughly 4 years later when I came across scripture that piqued my attention.  It was

Psalm 118:19-20, “Open to me the gates of righteousness; I will go through them, and I will praise the LORD.  This is the gate to the LORD, Through which the righteous shall enter.”

When I read this I just knew it was the confirmation I was looking for.  I was like, “Yes!  Yes!  This is it!!  What is it?  Tell me, please!”  Then the next verse reads,

Psalm 118:21, “I will praise You, for You have answered me, and have become my salvation.”

What?!?  What is this gate you talked about, David?  I don’t get it.  How is an answer a gate?

Thankfully I had been studying the Hebrew language for a while so I decided to look at the original language to see what was being said exactly.  What I found was that the word for “answer” in Hebrew is “anah” and while this word does occasionally mean answered, it most often means humbled.  Now that makes sense.

This is the gate to the LORD (oneness), Through which the righteous shall enter.  I will praise You, for You have humbled me, and have become my salvation (Yeshuah).

David is thanking God that He has made David small enough to now fit through that gate.  I don’t know about you, but that is just beautiful to me.

Well, this post seems to be running long.  There is still so much to share about the relationship between humility, peace and unity, and I really want to get this part published right away,  so I’m going to make this a part 1 and continue this with a follow-up post (or two).

 

Lord God, Father of my soul, thank You for revealing the way to oneness with You.  Both in the words inspired to our spiritual ancestor David and the living example of Your Beloved Son.  I pray for all my brothers and sister who haven’t turned over their prideful soul and self to death and resurrect in the Spirit, in the humility, power and love of Christ Jesus.  Please help their blindness.  Help them to recognize their need for smallness, not greatness, that permits us to enter into Your fellowship.  Give us assistance to become empty of self that we may become what you created us to be, in your image and likeness.  That we may be love as you are love.  I pray we become the kind of people that when you look upon us you say, “Levi” (levee) My heart.

Amen

Additional posts in this series: In the wake of humility…The Dangers of PrideIt’s Time to Hurt Your Pride, …but there are times when pride is a good thing and Advantages of Humility.

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January 3, 2015

Advantages of Humility

Posted in Humility tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:46 pm by tclickenger

So, this is post #4 in a series dealing with pride and humility.  So far I have share four benefits of humility, listed the major dangers of pride and looked at the favorable sense of pride.  In that first post I casually mentioned that along with the four benefits listed there are many more.  Today I want to share a few of these additional advantages that God has made inherent in humility.

  • God hears and responds to the humble.

Daniel 10:12, “Then he (the angel) said to me, ‘Fear not, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your mind and heart to understand and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come as a result of your words.'”

  • Humility gets God’s attention.

2 Chronicles 16:9 ISV, “The LORD’s eyes keep on roaming throughout the earth, looking for those whose hearts completely belong to him, so that he may strongly support them.”

Isaiah 66:2, “…But on this one will I look: on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word.”

  • Humility brings honor

The word for honor in the Hebrew language also means respect, dignity, greatness, weight, purpose and glory.  All of these words are represented in the word honor and all are achieved through humility.  I want you to keep this in mind and exchange the words as you read these scriptures.

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

Proverbs 22:4, “In the wake of humility comes the fear of the Lord, even riches, and honor, and life.”

  • God saves the humble

Psalm 18:27, “For you will save the humble people, but bring down haughty looks.”

2 Samuel 22:28, “You will save the humble people; but Your eyes are on the haughty, that You may bring them down.”

  • Humility is essential (prerequisite) for wisdom

Proverbs 11:2, “When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom.”

Proverbs 22:4, “In the wake of humility comes the fear of the Lord…”  Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

  • God’s presence dwells with the humble

Isaiah 57:15, “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy, ‘I dwell in the high and Holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.'”

Psalm 34:18 NIV, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

  • Humility brings joy

Isaiah 29:19 NKJV, “And those who suffered (Hebrew word anahvim – the humbled ones) shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the impoverished people shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.”

  • Humility brings discernment

Psalm 25:9, “He guides the humble in judgement (discernment), and He teaches the humble His way.”

Psalm 25:14, “The secret counsel of God is with those that fear Him; it is His covenant to let them recognize it.”

There are two more bonuses of humility that I will be presenting.  In my view, they are of the highest degree and quality.  They are both the gift and goal of our faith.  They are also more difficult to describe than all the others together so I will make a post dedicated to them alone.  Check back to find out what they are.

As we begin this new year I pray that each of you meditate on the rewards that come with humility and that you work to rid yourself of pride and emphasize the humble nature of Christ that has been born into you.  You will be amazed at the changes all around you as you do.

Amen and God bless you.

Tim Clickenger 

Additional posts in this series: In the wake of humility…The Dangers of PrideIt’s Time to Hurt Your Pride, …but there are times when pride is a good thing and the follow up post to this one, Humility Fosters Peace and Unity.