What do you think of when I say the names Sugar Ray Leonard, George Foreman, or Joe Frazier? Hopefully, you’ll recognize great boxers. The thing about boxing is that you have opposition. You are face-to-face with someone who has a strong resistance toward you. Leadership can be like that. Whether at home or at work, there can be opposition from others. Often we believe that our ideas are the best, therefore we should win. Our perspective is the correct one or our opinion is right and therefore people should not oppose us. God has a name for that attitude: pride.
As we follow Peter’s life in the gospels we find that he often showed that side of his personality. However, Jesus dealt with him in love, grace, and yet truth. He needed to instill into Peter and the other disciples that humility is the character trait that He favored. Jesus didn’t just talk about humility, He lived it. How do I define humility? I view it as a lack of self-centeredness, pure and simple. When you depend on God and not yourself you are experiencing humility. When you consider the ideas of others, you are walking in humility. We are encouraged in scripture to be covered or clothed with a humble attitude, just like Jesus. When we live our lives at home or at work shedding our self-centeredness we put ourselves in position to receive God’s favor. When we think our ways and ideas are the best or the only way we position ourselves to receive God’s correction and He will oppose us. Just like the boxers I mentioned earlier; do you really want to be in the ring opposite God?
Paul encourages us to follow Peter’s eventual example of turning from our selfish ways and honoring others. Admit it, sometimes their ideas are better than ours. Jesus instructs us to follow Him as He exemplified a humble attitude in life. Listen to His words:
So Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. (John 5:19 NLT)
I can do nothing on my own. I judge as God tells me. Therefore, my judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the one who sent me, not my own will. (John 5:30 NLT)
For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will. (John 6:38 NLT)
So, put on new clothes today. Decide to walk in humility in your marriage, your work, or your family and consider the ideas of others. Desire God’s will to be done more than your own. Be like Jesus. Die to yourself and you’ll experience life in the Spirit. When you humble yourself to others, at just the right time, God will honor you. I know that’s a paradox but it’s true.
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