Wednesday, July 6, 2011

13 Characteristics of a Growing Church: Humility

I bet you know this person...everyone does. They always think that their ideas are the best. They know what is going to best for everyone, especially themself. They even have to top your stories because they know or have experienced more than you. You couldn't possibly be in pain because they are hurting more than you. All in all it's just about THEM. Conciously or not they are putting themselves ahead of every other person on the planet. That attitude isn't good for a friendship, a relationship, or a church. In fact, today we are going to talk about the exact opposite--humility!

So here's a quick recap of the Characteristics of a Growing Church:
1st Love Genuinely
2nd Hate What is Evil
3rd Cling to What is Good
4th Devoted to One Another

The 5th characteristic of a growing Church is Humility.
"Honor one another above yourselves." Romans 12:10b NIV

Too many times we get this false picture of humility stuck in our heads. We either equate humility with weakness and allowing ourselves to be walked all over or we think of false humility where we put ourselves down all the time and belittle our talents and strengths so that we actually draw more attention to those attributes. Neither of these ideas are a true picture of Biblical humility. So what is?

According to Romans 12:10, Biblical humility is the ability to honor others above yourself. That means putting others first. I do like how The Message words it when it says that we are to "practice playing second fiddle." When we are truly humble it isn't all about us, which allows it to be all about Christ and those around us.

In Proverbs 22:4 it says, "Humility is the fear of the LORD; its wages are riches and honor and life." There are two things I want us to get out of this #1 we are humble when we put God in His proper place in our lives and #2 our humility and obedience to God are rewarded and honored. In an ironic way, true humility is one of the most beneficial things that anyone could do for themselves.

When we are truly humble and allowing God His rightful rule in our lives then we will want to serve others and put them first. Jesus was the ultimate example of godly humility. Even though He was fully God He came down to earth and became fully man. He put our needs so far above His own that the Bible says He humbled himself and became obedient to death on the cross (Phil.2:6-8). He didn't have to do it. No one made Him. He simply put our eternal needs above His own physical well being. That's a humbling thought.

What can you do to be humble and put other's needs above your own?

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