July 24

Read Proverbs 16 -- 19

No one is naturally humble. The human heart is permeated with pride; only the indwelling Christ can develop in our lives true humility. This will manifest itself in kindness toward the unkind, long-suffering toward those who annoy us, and love toward the unlovely. How inconsistent it is to think that we have "humbly given ourselves to Christ" when we snub or react harshly to anyone.

The Lord gives warnings concerning the end result of pride and false humility: Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud (Proverbs 16:18-19).

It is natural to think of ourselves as humble, especially when we are alone in prayer. But humility, or a lack of it, is apparent by our attitude when we are with someone who irritates us. If our replies are expressed in an unkind way, either outwardly in our words or actions or inwardly in our thoughts, then our "humility" is not real, but is a mere mask for our pride. Knowing the destructive power of pride, let us look upon people who seem difficult to love as those chosen by God to provide us with the opportunity to cleanse ourselves of self-righteousness by expressing Christlike humility and love of God.

Truly humble people will feel no jealousy or envy when they are ignored while others are praised. God reminds us: Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory (conceit); but in lowliness of mind (humility) let each esteem (regard) others better than themselves (Philippians 2:3). He also said to the Colossians: Put on therefore, as the elect of God . . . mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering (patience) . . . forgiving . . . even as Christ forgave you (Colossians 3:12-13).

We are also warned: Be of the same mind toward one another. Mind not high things (be not snobbish), but condescend (humble yourself) to (take a sincere interest in) men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits (thinking you are more important than other people) (Romans 12:16). To be Christlike is to give equal consideration to all people, regardless of their race, position, abilities, or wealth, for God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). Humility allows us to assume a Christlike nature rather than to selfishly center our thoughts and actions on personal achievements and recognition.

Love is demonstrated in a consistent attitude of personal humility and devotion for the good of others and is not puffed up (arrogant, boastful, or conceited), does not behave itself unseemly (in a rude manner), seeks not her own (selfish way) (I Corinthians 13:4-5). To the Galatians Paul wrote: Let us not be desirous of vain glory (conceited), provoking one another (rivalry), envying (jealous of) one another (Galatians 5:26). To the Ephesians, he wrote: Therefore . . . walk (lead a life) worthy of the (your) vocation . . . with all lowliness (humility) and meekness (gentleness), with long-suffering (patience), forbearing one another (making allowance for one another's faults) in love (Ephesians 4:1-2).

Christ Revealed: As the One who punishes the proud (Proverbs 16:5). Jesus said: Whosoever exalts himself shall be abased; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted (Luke 14:11). As the Friend that sticks closer than a brother (Prov. 18:24). Jesus is our Friend (John 15:14-15) and will never leave us, nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5).

Word Studies: 16:2 spirits means motives; 16:8 without right means dishonestly gained; 17:18 striketh hands means responsible for his neighbor; 18:2 discover itself means express itself; 18:3 with ignominy reproach means with dishonor and disgrace; 19:3 fretteth means is resentful; 19:7 they are wanting to him means they abandon him; 19:13 a continual dropping means an unending irritation.

Prayer:

Government Official: Rep. Bob Schaffer (CO) · BPM Staff: Pam Pendergrast · Pray for Rick Hash and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on KIJN-AM/FM, Farwell, TX · Country: Sao Tome and Principe (155,000) two larger and several smaller islands in the Gulf of Guinea, 125 miles off the western coast of Africa · Major language: Portuguese · Religious freedom is fairly new · 83% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant; 2% animist · Prayer Suggestion: Realize that your life is in God's hands, and ask Him to deliver you from all evil (Luke 11:4).

Optional Reading: Hebrews 1

Memory Verse for the Week: Revelation 20:14