“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” – James 4:6
We went to the zoo a little while ago and saw many animals, but one of them that stood out were the peacocks. They walked around with their beautiful feathers fanned out, almost with an air of arrogance about them. Just then, I saw a teenage boy parading around and showing off for his girlfriend. Now, I don’t think for a second that we are descended from apes or anything, but that situation made me think that the teenage boy might have been born from a peacock.
Many times in scripture we see God being angry with people for thinking they are high and mighty. God is just like any good parent and wants His children to know the value of staying humble. I know that there has been times in my own life that God taught me humility, and those were lessons that I won’t soon forget. Humility brings about peace and kindness, because you realize that we are all on the same level as brothers and sisters in God’s holy family. We all deserve love.
Only God deserves the top spot in our lives and as soon as we think that we’ve somehow earned that spot ourselves, we are headed for disaster. It’s ok to acknowledge that you have certain gifts and be happy about them. Some people are good artists or singers. Some are good at sports. I’m a good preacher. That’s not pride or arrogance talking, that is simply an acknowledgement of a gift of the Holy Spirit. The problems come when you start thinking that your skills and talents came from anything you did in and of yourself. Your blessings are just that, blessings. The Bible doesn’t say that I can do all things just because I’m Daniel Harlow and I’m awesome. It says that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. No Christ equals no strength.
My mom used to tell me not to get ‘too big for my britches’. I like the old country way of putting things into simple terms. That is much like the Apostle Peter wrote, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6) God is not impressed with your stylish cars or clothes. Not once have I ever thought that I’d rather have a fancy movie star as a daughter rather than my own girls that love me deeply. God loves you and you are important to Him just the way you are. You have no need for a Rolex in Heaven. You came into this world naked and you’ll leave just the same. Billy Graham put it best when he said, “I’ve never seen a hearse with a U-Haul trailer.”
Sometimes it’s the simplest things in life that really bring you the greatest rewards. Humility is the gateway to Christ’s Kingdom and the key to our Heavenly Father’s eternal blessings. You can’t lift yourself higher than what God can lift you.