Five Things That Bring God Pleasure
Day 4: Humility
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.” (Colossians 3:12-15, ESV)
“But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’” (James 4:6, ESV)
“Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.” (Proverbs 18:12, ESV)
The next topic in our study of things that bring God pleasure is humility. We live in a world that encourages us to blast out all our achievements and accomplishments on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Tik Tok, LinkedIn, and every other social media app you can possibly imagine. The goal in our modern society is to get the highest paying job, biggest house, nicest car, fanciest vacations, coolest wardrobe, and the best life experiences that money can buy. Then, with pride, you have to make sure every family, friend, and stranger on the internet know that you have what they don’t have.
As believers, we must be very careful not to fall into this same trap. I am not calling for a boycott of social media (although that might not be the worst thing!) or a return to an agrarian life in which you harvest from the land and consume as little as possible (go for it if that’s your thing, though!). But I am calling us to consider what the Bible says about how we should conduct ourselves and the attitude we should have in our daily walk.
Think of the way in which the Son of God came into the world. He was born of a virgin, placed in a manger after there was no room for Mary and Joseph in the inn, with no fanfare, no grand announcement throughout the globe, no light that shined down from heaven as He descended to the earth. He was born into a family of limited means, and He lived a life that was in no way luxurious. The Lord Jesus understood that He was not here to self-promote; He was here to ultimately suffer, bleed, and die on the cross.
If the Son of God lived a life that modeled humility and meekness, why should we try to live any different? James 4:6 reminds us that God actually despises the proud. We have to understand that we are nothing without Christ and all that we have we owe to our Lord. He is the ultimate example of humility, and when we display humility in situations in which the world would tell us to do otherwise, our lives then point others to Christ.
As Christians, we must understand that our lives are not our own and are certainly not about pleasing ourselves and indulging our every desire. John the Baptist had it right when, in speaking of the Lord Jesus, he said, “He must increase; I must decrease” (John 19:30, ESV). Our lives should reflect Christ, and when we seek to be humble, this pleases God, because we are displaying a characteristic of His Son to the world. This is not to say that we should make ourselves as nothing and to let everyone walk all over us, but to understand that this life is not about what we can do for ourselves; it’s about what we can do for Him. It would be my prayer that we would work to be more humble—not to think less of ourselves, but to think of ourselves less.