In this week's sermon I talked about "Surviving Success" and how God asks us to practice true humility, as we read in 1 Peter 5:6
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time."
To help each of us examine our hearts and motivations, I have prepared a list of ten simple questions and suggestions. My hope is that you will be able to put some of these into practice not as a burden of duty, but as disciplines that God will use to shape you more and more into the image of Christ. You aren't earning God's love or approval when you do these things; you're letting God's love change you from the inside out into a more humble person, able and ready to bless and serve others!
- On what grounds do you condemn others or condemn yourself? Are they God's standards, or yours?
- When God blesses you with success, do you become prideful like Nebuchadnezzar at first, or praise-ful like Nebuchadnezzar at the end?
- When you’re talking, are you thinking about yourself, the other person, or what the other person is thinking about you?
- Are your prayers always about you? Talk about God — praise Him like Daniel did. Pray for others — that God will bless them. Pray for those you feel envious of, and your enemies, asking God to bless them with far greater success and joy.
- Then, praise your competitors to their faces and behind their backs. Nothing will conquer your pride more easily than praising your competitors.
- Next, consider God’s creation — go out to watch the stars, the sunrise, the mountians or the beach waves. See what an amazing Creator God is, and how small you are.
- Confess your sin to another Christian. Not your past sins from a decade ago, but current ones that you need help with now. Refuse to stay trapped in the prison of your pride.
- Make a list of things that others excel in and you don’t, and then share with one person this week a way God has blessed you because of the way He made them.
- Serve in unseen ways, and some unpleasant ones. Be sure that no one sees it so that God alone can glorify you. If someone catches you, then find another way to serve in secret. Martin Luther wrote: “God created the world out of nothing, and as long as we are nothing, He can make something out of us.”
- Finally, if God has done something good for you, like He did for Nebuchadnezzar, share the story like Nebuchadnezzar did in Daniel 4.
May God bless you as you cultivate humility in your heart!
- Pastor Dave