I will never forget going to a friend, who I call an accountability friend, to share an area of weakness in my life, better stated an area of sin. I was sharing with her about my struggle and, you can guess if you know me at all, it was with my “tongue!” I for sure believe the statement is true, “Your greatest strength can be your greatest weakness” as well. I really felt that with this particular friend I might get a real reprimanding, but I knew I needed to talk it out with someone. Maybe I felt a good tongue lashing would put me in my place. To my surprise I got the opposite!!! Not only was I met with love and genuine concern, but she said, “I have done the same thing, and I know how you feel!” Not at all what I had expected. This particular friend went on to share with me boundaries that she had put on herself, with God’s help. She shared how she retraced the steps that led her into a “fiery tongue” situation and realized the quick fix was to stay away or remove herself from situations that were a potential hazard to “unleashing that little red mushy muscle” that we call the “tongue!”
This post isn’t about the tongue but it is about “humility!” Humility is defined as the quality or state of not thinking you are better than other people. It is also defined as the modest opinion of oneself or of one’s importance. What this friend did for me was not necessarily “misery loves company” but she was identifying with me as a “sinner.” Romans 3:23 states, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” She didn’t put herself above me, she equaled herself to me. Her gentle words of understanding and her own admission of weakness put us on the same page. She did not at ALL diminish or excuse my sin but her humble loving attitude gave her a TEACHABLE VOICE with me! Her voice, even though it was very soft and gentle, was LOUD. It spoke volumes to me personally. This friend understood the scripture found in 1Peter 5:6-9 that states, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you…casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood through out the world.”
First, she understood and acknowledged that we all as Christians struggle with sin, some different and some the same.
Second, she was strong in her faith and her view of herself before a Holy God.
Third, she shared how she had humbled herself and how she had become “sober-minded and watchful” over this area of temptation.
Fourth, she shared how she had cast her anxiety about her tongue on God and given it to Him.
And fifth, because of her humbleness before a holy God about her own shortcomings and sin, God LIFTED HER UP in due time to help me!
She had learned firsthand through her faith in God how to reflect on her failings and find victory. She came alongside of me with a desire to listen and help and not condemn. She had a very humble attitude of herself and her own weaknesses in seeking to help me!
That to me is a true picture of Humility. As Christians, God’s desire for us is to for sure “sin LESS”. When we do this, it brings us into a closer fellowship with Him. He doesn’t expect perfection but He does expect……. HUMILITY! To see ourselves in a humble way in front of others and in front of a Holy God.
My dear friend taught me a valuable lesson as she lived and walked 1 Peter 5:6-9–to continually humble yourself before God and then and only then can you turn around and extend a hand to others and help them. Because of her faith and her humility, she was Iron to me! She lived Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron; so one man sharpens another.” You would not think being “iron” would go hand-in-hand with humility, but it does!
Understand, humility is a GREAT strength. It is IRON strength! I love the quote, “He stands erect by bending over the fallen. He rises by lifting others!” And the quote, “Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up!”