What do you think of when I say the names Sugar Ray Leonard, George Foreman, or Joe Frazier? Hopefully, you’ll recognize great boxers. Boxing is all about opposition. You’re face-to-face with someone who has strong resistance against you. Leadership can be like that. Whether at home or work, you may find yourselves in opposition to others. We often believe that our ideas are the best, therefore, people should listen to us and comply yet they oppose us. Our perspective is the correct one or our opinion is right and everyone should agree. God has a name for that attitude: pride.
Peter’s life showed that prideful side of his personality, however, Jesus dealt with him in love, grace, and yes, 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? How about this: 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 clothed with a humble attitude, just like Jesus.
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:12-14 NLT
When we live in humility, shedding our self-centeredness, we put ourselves in position to receive God’s favor. When we operate in pride we position ourselves to receive God’s correction and He will oppose us. Like the boxers I mentioned earlier, do you really want to be in the ring opposite God?
Jesus exemplified humility by pointing away from Himself and to His Father.
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
As Col. 2 instructs us, put on humility in your marriage, your work, and your family considering the ideas of others. Sometimes you need to die to yourself to 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, seems contradictory, but it’s true.