You Have Homework!

I’m taking on a new project that will extend the capabilities and hopefully value of SeqHim to disciplemakers.  But to be successful, I will need the SeqHim community (that’s you, reader) to rise up and respond to this blog post.  I humbly request your help.  It will only take a few minutes of your time, but it will be extremely valuable to you and others.

In short, my desire is to deliver a SeqHim community consensus view on the virtue of humility.

I will explain further when I release the results, but for now I’m asking for your brief thoughts on these questions:

  1. How do you define humility?
  2. What specific Scriptures do you know speak to humility?
  3. What teaching on humility would you offer?
  4. What humility-specific teaching resources (i.e. books, sermons, etc) would you recommend?
  5. What disciplines (i.e. study, prayer, solitude, service, etc) have you discovered drive humble behaviors?
  6. What life circumstances commonly require humility?

I can’t describe how much I value and appreciate your responses to any or all of the questions above!  In a few days, I will consolidate and publish the results.

8 Replies to “You Have Homework!”

  1. off the cuff:

    humility = absence of pride;
    thinking of God first, others second, then yourself;
    thinking others better than yourself; looking to others’ needs before your own; understanding your lowly position before God despite the position He may have placed you in on Earth

    James 4:6, James 4:10, Philippians 2:3,4

    teaching – If you think you are humble, you probably are not! Humility intends to seek Christ first, not evaluate yourself all the time!

    resource – CS Lewis’s Mere Christianity, section 3, chapter 8 entitled “the great sin”

    disciplines – Confront pride face-on with the help of the Holy Spirit. Speak/define/identify areas in your life where you are prideful, ask Christ to cover it. Learn to find the positive in situations and people – negativity prohibits humility, but being positive and encouraging helps you to have perspective, which develops humility. be intentional about giving something up where you might normally be prideful (ie listen before speaking despite having the answer)

    circumstances – work situations, competitive sporting events,

  2. Not looking up a definition or looking at other posts first…

    1.How do you define humility?
    An attitude of not thinking of yourself as being greater (in some way) than another person. Although after looking at Bob’s post I like his.

    2.What specific Scriptures do you know speak to humility?
    Prov 22:4 (humility and fear of the Lord are the key to riches, honor, and life)
    Zeph 2:3 (seek humility)
    Acts 20:19 (serve in humility)
    Col 3:12 (as the elect, put on God’s characteristics – humility being one)
    2 Tim 2:24 (as a servant of the Lord, avoid strife [prior verse] show humility when correcting)
    Titus 3:2 Show ALL your humility – understanding that we (believers) were just like them

    3.What teaching on humility would you offer?
    So much of what separates us from God (puts us out of fellowship) is “self.” A prideful attitude that “I can run my life better than God yet I‘m better than others because I claim to be a Christian.” As we spiritually mature and understand that in order to follow Christ we must deny self, pick up our cross and follow Him. Humility is a big part of getting outside of “self” and focusing on other people.

    4.What humility-specific teaching resources (i.e. books, sermons, etc) would you recommend?
    Michael Vincent Walking in Humility Seeking to live the life God desires

    5.What disciplines (i.e. study, prayer, solitude, service, etc) have you discovered drive humble behaviors?
    Service has been a huge one for me. Serving others puts your attitude in check and makes you realize that the world is not so small and other people need God’s love.

    6.What life circumstances commonly require humility
    Marriage, parenting, teaching, mentoring, mission work

  3. 1. lower yourself and submit to God; no boasting, no pride. Think about others first.
    2. proverbs 11:2 and 22:4 and Philipians 2:3
    3. pray for GOd to show you where you need humility. Pray for guidance and courage to change. And whenever you feel good about yourself…well pride is in the way! Whenever your feelings are all about what you are experiencing and you can’t stop thinking about your own problems…it is also another form of pride. Be for the lookout for your motives in doing good. It must be done for God and not for anything or anyone else.
    4. I am not aware of any other specific material besides the bible itself which is sufficient by itself!!! 🙂 Christ’s life is the perfect exemple of humility.
    5. The Holy Spirit will convict you and obedience is the key…pay attention, listen & Obey. I would also suggest to check your motives frequently if not all the time when you are doing something even when you think you are doing it for others.
    6. Whenever someone is in a leading position and/or part of a team (work, church (!), school, home,etc)

  4. 6 Aspects of Humility
    March 13, 2008 | By: John Piper
    Category: Commentary

    If humility is not compliance with relativism and is not sophomoric skepticism, what is it? This is important, since the Bible says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5), and “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:11). God has told us at least six things about humility.

    1. Humility begins with a sense of subordination to God in Christ.

    A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. (Matthew 10:24)

    Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God. (1 Peter 5:6)

    2. Humility does not feel a right to better treatment than Jesus got.

    If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household! (Matthew 10:25)

    Therefore humility does not return evil for evil. It is not life based on its perceived rights.

    Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps; . . . while suffering, He uttered no threats, but handed [his cause] over to Him who judges righteously. (1 Peter 2:21-23)

    3. Humility asserts truth not to bolster ego with control or with triumphs in debate, but as service to Christ and love to the adversary.

    Love rejoices in the truth. (1 Corinthians 13:6)

    What I [Jesus] tell you in the darkness, speak in the light. . . . Do not fear. (Matthew 10:27-28)

    We do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. (2 Corinthians 4:5)

    4. Humility knows it is dependent on grace for all knowing and believing.

    What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? (1 Corinthians 4:7)

    In humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)

    5. Humility knows it is fallible, and so considers criticism and learns from it; but also knows that God has made provision for human conviction and that he calls us to persuade others.

    We see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. (1 Corinthians 13:12)

    A wise man is he who listens to counsel. (Proverbs 12:15)

    Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men. (2 Corinthians 5:11)

    6. Humility is to believe in the heart and confess with the lips that our life is like a vapor, and that God decides when we die, and that God governs all our accomplishments.

    Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” 14 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” 16 But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. (James 4:13-16)

  5. Recommended Sermon:

    How To Fight the Sin of Pride, Especially When You Are Praised

    Ten Things I Do

    By John Piper November 9, 2004

    I call to mind that I am not self-existent; only the triune God is. Only God is absolute, but I am contingent. I remind myself that I am utterly dependent on God for my origin and for my present and future existence. I call this to mind and ponder its truth.

    I remember that I am by nature a depraved sinner and that, in all my sinning, I have treated God with contempt, preferring other things to his glory. I take stock that I have never done a good deed for which I don’t need to repent. Each one is flawed because perfection is commanded. Therefore I realize that God owes me nothing but pain in this life and the next.

    I ponder that this condition of mine is so desperate that it could only be remedied at the cost of the horrid death of the Son of God, to bear my punishment and provide my righteousness. And I revel in the forgiveness and righteousness that is mine in Christ.

    I meditate on those Scriptures that say, “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,” (1 Peter 5:5-6; see James 4:6-10). And, “He who is least among you all is the one who is great” (Luke 9:48; Mark 9:35; Matthew 20:26).

    I pray that the eyes of my heart would see these biblical truths for what they really are.

    I ask God to make me not just see them but also feel them with a sense of the meekness and lowliness and brokenness that corresponds to their true weight.

    I renounce desires for praise and notoriety and esteem when I see them rising. I say, “No! In the name of Jesus get out of my head!” And I turn my mind afresh with prayer toward the beauty and truth and worth of Christ.

    I try to receive all criticism—from friend or foe—with the assumption that there is almost certainly some truth in it that I can benefit from. “Be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” (James 1:19).

    I strive to cultivate a joy in Christ and his wisdom and power and justice and love that is more satisfying than the pleasures of human praise, with the goal that, by the Spirit, I would be granted the miracle of self-forgetfulness in the admiration of Christ, and in love toward people.

    Finally, I turn often to older writers who knew God at depths which most of us modern people seem incapable of. I turn, for example, to Jonathan Edwards whose descriptions of humility awaken the deepest longings in me, as, for example, when he wrote to Mrs. Peperell on November 28, 1751, concerning Christ:

    He is indeed possessed of infinite majesty, to inspire us with reverence an adoration; yet that majesty need not terrify us, for we behold it blended with humility, meekness, and sweet condescension. We may feel the most profound reverence and self-abasement, and yet our hearts be drawn forth sweetly and powerfully into an intimacy the most free, confidential, and delightful. The dread, so naturally inspired by his greatness, is dispelled by the contemplation of his gentleness and humility; while the familiarity, which might otherwise arise from this view of the loveliness of his character merely, is ever prevented by the consciousness of his infinite majesty and glory; and the sight of all his perfections united fills us with sweet surprise and humble confidence, with reverential love and delightful adoration. (Works, Vol. 1 (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth), p. cxxxix)

    Longing to forget me, and treasure Christ, and love you,

    Pastor John

  6. Another good sermon:

    How do you remain humble?

    By John Piper April 30, 2008

    I don’t. What makes you think I’m humble? A lot of people don’t think I’m humble.

    I’ll take the question to mean, “How do you work at it?” And that’s a good question. I do try to work at it.

    For one, I ask others to pray for me. And I pray to the Lord, “Before I give way to any kind of proud misuse of this influence for my ego, kill me. Take me before I ruin this church, this ministry, and these books. If I have to end on a note that would cast a pall over an entire life of effort, please take me before that happens.”

    Prayer—pleading with God for humility—really is crucial.

    Secondly, God always uses means, and the means are both providences and truth. The truth is that I’m a sinner. I wasn’t only a sinner. I am a sinner. “He who says he has no sin is deceived” (1 John 1:8). So I am a sinner. This does not take any major argument, and it doesn’t take much of a mirror. I just see it over and over again.

    I said to our staff yesterday morning, when we were talking about reputations of the church, etc., to pray that we as a staff would daily be stunned by grace in our lives. Because if we aren’t amazed by grace towards us, we will be a finger-pointing church mainly.

    That was the issue. Bethlehem takes a lot of stands, and therefore we are unhappy with a lot of people’s views and can be very negative. I said that the only solution there—since Paul had a lot of things he disagreed with and got upset with a lot of people—the only answer is to be more amazed that you’re saved than that they’re lost.

    We should be amazed that God has treated us so generously. Laboring to see that means we must know our sin and know the cross well.

    A third thing is ask people around you to be honest and tell you when you’re blowing it, whether you’re blowing it in little ways or big ways.

    Now and then I’ll say to the staff,

    Please. I know I have a lot of authority around here, and I’m hard to disagree with; but would you please—if you see an attitude, action, or any laziness, covetousness, greed, lust, or selfishness—would you please come to me? Email me if it’s too hard to face me, or just come and tell me.

    And they do! Some of the young guys are courageous and will say, “Don’t you need to talk to that person after saying that?” And I do. I had to email somebody the other day and say that I mentioned their name in a group and said something negative when I shouldn’t have. I was joking but it really wasn’t joking. I asked for forgiveness. He emailed back and was so gracious. “Not a problem,” he said. “I’ve done the same thing and I forgive you.”

    And I said to Nathan, my assistant, on the plane when I was reading this response, “How sweet it is when brothers dwell together in unity! And how horrible it is when you’re nervous at night that somebody is mad at you!”

    So having people around you who exhort you and rebuke you is crucial.

    Finally, you recognize that everything you do, you do in the strength that God supplies. That can be an empty phrase if you’re not really believing it. But Paul said, “By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. But I worked harder than any of them.” Now he could stop right here and boast in his work, but he goes on: “Nevertheless, it was not I but the grace of God that was with me.”

    I think that was a very powerful reality for Paul. He could boast. In fact, he did boast about certain gospel things. But when it came to himself, he said that any good he did was done by grace. We see it also in Romans 15:18: “God forbid that I should boast except in what Christ has wrought in me to bring about the obedience of the Gentiles.”

    So if I hear people saying that they were helped by a book or a conference, I tremble inside that I didn’t blow it, didn’t drop the ball, or didn’t quit. I’m saying “God, how long will you keep this going? How long will you have your hand on me? I cannot believe you are so persevering and kind with one who is so imperfect.”

  7. I’ll try to do my homework during half an hour of my lunch break. I’m never satisfied with my answers so maybe the time limit will help me. 😉

    1. Definition of humility
    acknowledgment of who you are versus who God is

    2. Scriptures on humility
    examples of anti-humility (pride) and dying to self (requiring humility) abound.

    3. Teaching on humility
    patterns: die to self, make it a habit in actions (learning–start with “I don’t know nearly enough”, loving–start with “I don’t care nearly enough”, etc.)
    anti-patterns: self-abasement, false allocation of credit, false humility (faking humility)

    4. Resources
    The Bible, The Holy Spirit

    5. Disciplines
    Make a habit of leaning on God, especially when you think you know better.
    Stay in the Word to remind yourself of consequences of making critical decisions based on pride.

    6. Circumstances
    God is constantly trying to teach me stuff, but I suspect I can’t hear because of lack of humility. So, I think there are specific circumstances, dictated by God, that we need to listen for.

    For example, I write software for a living. On a micro scale, I sometimes interact with God to get me through tough problems. Many times the best solution is to throw away hours worth of work because a better solution exists. This certainly takes humility.

    On a larger scale, I sometimes have to interact with other teams to negotiate shared solutions. Sometimes people act arrogant or harsh and are difficult to work with. If I “humble myself” by taking harsh or unfair criticisms to heart, then I’m left feeling lowly with no energy to be useful.

    I see my faults in humility.
    Trying to solve to what I see on my own leads me to lie to myself over what I see or leads me to bury myself over it. If, on the other hand, I allow humility to direct me to God and to ask Him to overcome what my faults and limitations, then I can begin to grow and act in a positive way through humility.

    Ugggh. Out of time.

    That’s all from me. I’m looking forward to the consolidated results.

    God bless,

  8. Humility is knowing who God is, who I am, and the comparison thereof.
    2 The words of Christ, “Peace be still” and the storm and the waters obeyed.”Talitha Cumi” what do i have to say to that.

    3. In love, God brings humility to the proud. t is a painful gift to receive , but invaluable.
    4.Job, 38, 39, 40, 41. If that doesn’t make you humble I just do not know what will
    5 I know no discipline other than God’s that will take you where you need to go. For me he used cancer and paralysis. It worked, I am healed up, mostly, and much more usable as a tool for Christ.
    6. See above. Also to be a servant of
    Christ one must be willing to was feet, change diapers, do whatever it takes to show love and humility.

    God bless you in your work, and this issue of humility. In my neck of the woods there are way too many preachers who are way too prideful. I would that they were Christ-ful instead.

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