Category Archives: Humility

The Opposite of Love Is Selfishness

“Therefore hear now this, thou…that sayest in thine heart, I am, and there is none else beside me…” (Isaiah 47:8).

Isaiah describes the root of every problem that you will experience in your marriage: Isaiah 53:6 says, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way.” That’s the root of all sin. That’s the cause of every crisis and conflict you will ever experience. Sin comes in many different forms but the underlying motive behind every sin is “I am and there is none else beside me.” I just do what I want to do.

Let me illustrate this for you in the area of marriage. The experts tell us that there are four things that rip marriages apart: money, sex, children, and work. Let’s look at “money.” He says “I want a new boat.” She says “I want a new coat.” You say “Oh, it’s a matter of money. If they just had more money then they would be able to resolve their problems.” It’s not a matter of money. The problem is: “I am and there is none else beside me.”

Your issue may be financial, it may be marital, it may come under one of a hundred different labels, but its root cause is always the same. Behind every broken relationship lies this root of sin. Marriages are ripped apart because one or both partners say, “I am and there is none else beside me.”

But the opposite is also true. Strong relationships are forged when we are willing to die to self and put the needs and wishes of others ahead of our own. Marriage provides us with those daily opportunities to die to our own rights and to learn the character of Christ. The conflicts that the enemy intends to use to bring about our destruction can actually serve as motivations for us to grow to new depths in our Christian life.

When Christ was on earth, His continual attitude was “Not my will, but Thine be done” (Luke 22:42). If we have the attitude that says, “I will do this no matter what anyone else says or thinks,” then we are not following the example of Christ but of Satan. Satan says, “I will….” (Isaiah 14:12-14). The Lord Jesus says, “Father, not My will, but Thine be done.”

Look for ways today to die to self rather than fighting for your own rights. Welcome those challenges as opportunities to grow in Christ-like character and to demonstrate to others the love of Christ.

Morris Hull
Home Life Ministries

Eight Words We All Need to Say

“Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom” (Proverbs 13:10).

Whenever there is contention, anger or bitterness, you can know that pride is certainly involved. Pride destroys marriages and families. Pride is unteachable. It refuses to see its own problems. Pride is quick to blame others and refuses to take responsibility.

No conflict will ever get resolved while blaming others for all the problems.

We need to examine ourselves. Certainly there may be more fault on one side than there is on the other, but virtually always there is some fault on both sides. And good relationships are not built by two people who never do anything wrong. Good relationships are built by people who aren’t too proud to admit where they are wrong and try to make it right.

Maybe you are only 5% responsible and your spouse or some other family member shares 95% of the blame. Don’t focus on the 95% of that other person. That’s their problem. That’s their responsibility and God will hold them accountable for that. Focus instead on your own wrong actions or attitudes that make up that 5% and take full responsibility for them.

Be willing to humble yourself and to go to that person with whom you are having the conflict and without mentioning their offenses, humbly and meekly take responsibility for your own.

It’s amazing how many times, all it takes is for someone to assume full responsibility for their own sin, and God will begin to heal the hurts and bitterness and restore that broken relationship.

There are eight words that every married person ought to learn to say regularly – “I was wrong. Will you please forgive me?”

Morris Hull, Home Life Ministries

Peacemaker of The Day

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9).

Godly character does not come naturally to your children – it needs to be taught! You don’t need to teach your children how to steal, lie, cheat or have a temper tantrum; but you do need to teach them meekness, humility, gentleness, kindness, deference, truthfulness, obedience, and forgiveness. These are character qualities that need to be taught. They’re certainly not being taught in the schools. They need to be taught in the home.

I wanted to share with you a little exercise which we enjoyed when our children were younger. It helped teach the Christ-like qualities of meekness and humility, and helped prevent some of the squabbling that takes place between siblings.

Every once and a while, we had a special competition during our morning devotional time as a family – it was called “Peacemaker of the Day.” I would announce to the children that Mom and I were going to be on the lookout for those who demonstrated the characteristics of a peacemaker. A special reward was to be given to the one who…

• gladly and willingly shared his toys
• yielded his rights rather than fighting for them
• praised and encouraged others (rather than being mean and critical)
• took the initiative in serving (without having to be asked)
• obeyed immediately and sweetly (not having to be asked a second time and with a good attitude)
• showed honor and respect (no back talk or attitude)
• demonstrated manners (saying “Thank you” at the dinner table)

Carefully explain each of the characteristics above to your children and let them know what is expected of them. The next morning, have them nominate their siblings by sharing how they saw each other demonstrate Godly character. Mom and Dad make the final decision on who is awarded the coveted prize.

Make the reward big – at least in their eyes. You’ll be amazed at how the younger children will respond to this challenge.

Morris Hull, Home Life Ministries

God Loves Humility

“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble” (James 4:6)

God loves humility. He hates pride – but He loves humility. This is the starting point for rebuilding broken relationships in your family.

One of Satan’s most effective ways to destroy or weaken your effectiveness as a parent is to erect barriers between you and your children. Some of the most difficult words we will ever have to say are, “I was wrong. Will you please forgive me?”

Most family conflicts could be resolved and even avoided right here! If you have wronged a member of your family, humble yourself and ask their forgiveness.

James 4:6 says, “God resisteth the proud…” If God is for you, it doesn’t make any difference who is against you; but if God is resisting you, it doesn’t make any difference who is for you. And when does God resist us the most? When we’re proud!

But James goes on to say that God “giveth grace unto the humble.” Grace is the desire and the power that God gives us to do His will (Philippians 2:13). The way then to deal with pride and to get more grace (more desire and more enabling power to do what is right) is to humble ourselves by taking responsibility for our wrong actions and words and attitudes.

Some of the most successful marriages and families are those that follow through and ask each other forgiveness several times each week. There is no such thing as the perfect family. We all make mistakes. But God wants us to develop the Christ-like quality of humility. He wants us to humble ourselves; and through that demonstration of humility, He will bind and knit our hearts together.

Don’t wait for the other person to make it right. Take the initiative by taking responsibility, and help restore that broken relationship today.

Morris Hull, Home Life Ministries

Choose to Serve

Philippians 2:7 tells us that Jesus “made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.”

Most people don’t mind being a servant as long as they’re not treated like one. We like the recognition. We like the pats on the back. We like our name in the church bulletin. But the true test of a servant is not getting upset whenever we’re treated like one. When no one sees or hears of the time and effort we’ve expended and we get no recognition – that’s the true test of being a servant.

Jesus chose to become a servant. He chose! It was an act of the will. You don’t become a servant by sitting around and hoping that one day you’ll feel like it. You might never feel like it. That’s why we have to make a deliberate choice each day.

Think of the people that come into your life every single day. These are the ones God wants you to serve. These are the ones God wants you to pour your life into. Your wife, your husband, your children, the people you work with, the people at church, and your neighbors next door. And it’s as we’re willing to humble ourselves and serve others and put the needs of others before ourselves, that we demonstrate true greatness and reflect the character of Christ. Jesus Himself said, “But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant” (Matthew 23:11).

Look for practical ways to serve those that God brings across your path today.

Morris Hull, Home Life Ministries

Self-Control in the Pulpit

What I’m about to describe has and is happening. In fact, it is exacerbating and complicating the problem of anger in our homes. A preacher gets angry in the pulpit, or uses anger in his preaching, or has an angry spirit while he is preaching. “How do I know?” Because I’ve been guilty. But I’m afraid I’m not alone. In fact, I have been in meetings where the “Amens” were the loudest when the preacher was the most angry. And I’m not against “Amens!” Sadly, most preachers who have this problem are like James and John. They don’t know it. It’s easy to get confused and think that the emotional high of anger is the same thing as the power of God upon your life.

Some people who hear an angry preacher preach know that he’s angry. But many men in the congregation have the same problem and therefore don’t know it. For a strong Bible preacher to have an angry spirit is not only an accepted thing in our day. It is also, in some circles, a strongly promoted, encouraged, and expected thing. Preachers have said things like: “If you don’t get in the pulpit and have a royal fit once every few months then you’ll have carnal, worldly church members and your church will never be all it ought to be.” So the use of the carnal, worldly weapon of anger is supposedly proper and powerful to fight carnality and worldliness. Sometimes the angry spirit is heard in the things a preacher says, or the way he says them, or both!

Why do we use anger? Every preacher would have to answer that question for himself. But it’s easy to use anger as a substitute for study. If the point is not well supported with Scripture, Scriptural principle, Scriptural illustrations, strong reasoning, or other illustrations . . . . just use a little anger to drive the point home! Then, if a fellow is really talented, he may use some humor to gloss over the hurt being caused by his anger. Like a father trying to get a child to laugh after he just said or did something cruel or hurtful. Humor may wisely be used to make truth more acceptable. But humor should not be used to make anger more acceptable. Incidentally, anyone who says anything in anger will probably say the wrong thing. BUT, if you do say the right thing it will probably be said the wrong way. Proverbs 14:17 says, “He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly.”

What are the results of this angry spirit in our pulpits? There are several of them:

(1) Continual strife among pastor and deacons, and pastor and people, and people and people. Remember that Proverbs 29:22 says, “An angry man stirreth up strife.”

(2) Empty pews and people going to churches that don’t teach and preach the Bible just to get away from the angry spirit in the Bible-believing church. One preacher said to me, “I don’t believe all the people I ran off for years and blamed it on them when it wasn’t anything but my own angry spirit.”

(3) A plague of anger is spread throughout homes, businesses, and society.

I was very careful how I chose those words. Anger is like a contagious plague! Since the anger is behind the pulpit, it must be right not only for there but for anywhere else. But that’s not the worst problem we have in this area. We are not simply defending and justifying a carnal work of the flesh. We are also promoting the spread of something that God himself says is contagious like a deadly disease. Proverbs 22:24-25 says, “Make no friendship [the Hebrew word means to pasture or feed] with an angry man [the Hebrew word means “ruler” or “leader”]; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: [WHY?] Lest [means “beware] thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.” When a preacher stands in the pulpit with an angry spirit, the fathers in the church “catch it” and don’t know they have it. Then many of the youth rebel against their parents and we can’t figure out how or why it has happened. I know this isn’t the only reason for problems in our churches and homes, but it is probably a bigger one than we realize.

(4) Vengeance is being handled by someone not Biblically qualified to handle it. An angry preacher may think he is giving reproof and correction. In reality, he is exercising vengeance upon God’s people.

(5) It causes us to lose the battle to spread God’s truth among the nations of the world. Our spirit of anger weakens or neutralizes our presentation of the truth.

The truth of the spirit is not the most powerful when it is presented with a work of the flesh. The truth of the spirit is the most powerful when it is presented with the fruit of the spirit.

A pastor said to me, “But couldn’t the intensity of our presentation of the truth cause people to think we’re angry when we’re really not?” My reply to him was this: “Our love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance should be so obvious that there would be no question about our being angry.” The Holy Spirit knows better how to use His Sword than do we! Let me make clear what I’m saying here. I am not against strong, clear, plain, powerful, bold preaching. I’m for that. I am for preaching that exposes sin and Satan. What I am saying is this: It may be a fine line, but there must be a line drawn: between being emphatic or being enraged; between being fiery or being frightening; between being watchful or wrathful. There must be a line between correction and condemnation; between intensity and indignation; between reproving and raging. I’m not suggesting passivity. No great leaders in the Bible were passive men. I am suggesting that our attacks and our defenses be filled with spiritual propriety and humility and a heart of concern. 1 Peter 3:15 says, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you, a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.”

Luke 4:22 tells about Jesus’ message in the synagogue at Nazareth. What was it that stood out about Jesus’ preaching? “And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth.”

From the message, “Freedom from the Spirit of Anger” by Dr. S.M. Davis

“Here’s My Hand”

F. B. Meyer told of a revival meeting that was dragging along without signs of success until one evening an elder arose and said, “Pastor, I don’t believe there is going to be a revival as long as Brother Jones and I don’t speak to each other.” He went to Jones and said: “Brother Jones, we have not spoken for five years, let’s bury the hatchet. Here’s my hand.” A sob broke from the audience. Soon another elder arose and said: “Pastor, I’ve been saying mean things about you behind your back and nice things to your face. I want you to forgive me.” Many arose and confessed their wrongs and God began to visit them. A revival swept over the community for three years.

-Encyclopedia of 7,700 Illustrations

George Muller’s Secret

To one who asked him the secret of his service, George Muller said: “There was a day when I died, utterly died;” and, as he spoke, he bent lower and lower until he almost touched the floor-“died to George Muller, his opinions, preferences, tastes, and will-died to the world, its approval or censure-died to the approval or blame even of my brethren and friends-and since then I have studied only to show myself approved unto God.”

-British Weekly

Projects on Humility

(1) Identify the greatest hindrance to humility in your life and share this in a family discussion

(2) The true test of character comes in knowing how to respond properly to praise. Create different circumstances in which your children acknowledge a person’s praise with a “thank you” and then deflect the praise back to God and others who are actually responsible for their success. Every person who accepts praise demonstrates pride, but those who sincerely deflect praise demonstrate proper humility and gratefulness.

An example of deflecting praise: Praise: You are a wonderful Christian

Possible responses:

  • Anything commendable you see in my life is an evidence of the faithfulness of the Lord Jesus Christ
  • I am grateful for some very patient parents and teachers who have invested in my life. They deserve the credit for any good qualities you see in me.

(3) Design right responses to compliments.

(4) Examine your life for demonstrations of humility:

  • Do you welcome criticism or secretly resent the one who gives it?
  • Are you inwardly grieved or pleased when you learn that another Christian has failed?
  • Are you unwilling to have others help you with a project because you do not want to share praise with them?

(5) Choose a major revival in history and study the background and effects of it. What experience brought about the brokenness which God used in each life?

(6) List various achievements in your life; trace them back to whomever the credit actually belongs. Design an expression of gratitude for those people.

Christ’s Humility

Christ’s Humility – Zec 9:9 Mt 11:29 Joh 13:5 2Co 8:9 Php 2:8

  • 1) Declared by himself  Mt 11:29

2a) Taking our nature  Php 2:7 Heb 2:16
2b) Birth  Lu 2:4-7
2c) Subjection to his parents  Lu 2:51
2d) Station in life  Mt 13:55 Joh 9:29
2e) Poverty  Lu 9:58 2Co 8:9
2f) Partaking of our infirmities  Heb 4:15 5:7
2g) Submitting to ordinances  Mt 3:13-15
2h) Becoming a servant  Mt 20:28 Lu 22:27 Php 2:7
2i) Associating with the despised  Mt 9:10,11 Lu 15:1,2
2j) Refusing honours  Joh 5:41 6:15
2k) Entry into Jerusalem  Zec 9:9 Mt 21:5,7
2l) Washing his disciples’ feet  Joh 13:5
2m) Obedience  Joh 6:38 Heb 10:9
2n) Submitting to sufferings  Isa 50:6 53:7 Ac 8:32 Mt 26:37-39
2o) Exposing himself to reproach and contempt  Ps 22:6 69:9 Ro 15:3 Isa 53:3
2p) Death  Joh 10:15,17,18 Php 2:8 Heb 12:2

  • 3) Saints should imitate  Php 2:5-8
  • 4) On account of, he was despised  Mr 6:3 Joh 9:29
  • 5) His exaltation, the result of  Php 2:9

Bible Verses Related to Humility & Pride

Bible Verses Related to Humility

  • 2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. {which…: Heb. upon whom my name is called}
  • Proverbs 16:19 Better [it is to be] of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.
  • Proverbs 18:12 Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour [is] humility.
  • Proverbs 22:4 By humility [and] the fear of the LORD [are] riches, and honour, and life. {By…: or, The reward of humility, etc}
  • Proverbs 29:23 A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.
  • Isaiah 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name [is] Holy; I dwell in the high and holy [place], with him also [that is] of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
  • Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what [is] good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? {walk…: Heb. humble thyself to walk}
  • Matthew 18:4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
  • Matthew 23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
  • James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
  • 1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all [of you] be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
  • 1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

Bible Verses Related to Pride

  • Proverbs 6:16-17 These six things doth the Lord hate…a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, {A proud…: Heb. Haughty eyes}
  • Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the LORD [is] to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
  • Proverbs 11:2  [When] pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly [is] wisdom.
  • Proverbs 13:10  Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised [is] wisdom.
  • Proverbs 14:3  In the mouth of the foolish [is] a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.
  • Proverbs 15:25  The LORD will destroy the house of the proud: but he will establish the border of the widow.
  • Proverbs 16:5  Every one [that is] proud in heart [is] an abomination to the LORD: [though] hand [join] in hand, he shall not be unpunished. {unpunished: Heb. held innocent}
  • Proverbs 16:18  Pride [goeth] before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
  • Proverbs 29:23 A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.
  • James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
  • 1 Peter 5:5  Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all [of you] be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

The Humble Things Are The Great Things of The Christian Life

Paul says in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” What comes to mind when you read that verse?

I used to think that Paul was talking about the great things of the Christian life. We can do the little and mundane things by ourselves and we just need God’s help for those overwhelming projects and those challenging people.

However, the context of this verse is not the great things but the humiliating things. Paul says, “I know…how to be abased…to be hungry… and to suffer need” (Philippians 4:12).

God loves humility (He hates pride; but He loves humility!). This is the starting point for rebuilding broken relationships.

Some of the most difficult words we will ever have to say are, “I was wrong. Will you please forgive me?” You know, most family conflicts could be resolved and even avoided right here! If you have wronged someone in your family, if you’ve hurt them or embarrassed them or offended them or disciplined them in anger, then you need to take responsibility and humble yourself and ask their forgiveness.

It’s as we are willing to humble ourselves before God and before others that God gives us grace. James 4:6 says, “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”

You say, “I just can’t do that. There’s no way I could ever ask for forgiveness.” Paul says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Some of the most successful marriages and families are those that ask each other forgiveness several times each week. There is no such thing as the perfect family. We all make mistakes. But God wants us to develop the quality of humility. He wants us to humble ourselves; and through that demonstration of humility, He will bind and knit our hearts together.

Whatever relationship may be damaged – it can be healed and repaired if we are willing to humble ourselves and take responsibility for our hurtful words, actions and attitudes.

Morris Hull – Home Life Ministries