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“True humility and fear of the Lord lead to riches, honor, and long life.”
Proverbs 22:4 NLT
In Judaism, the “fear of God (LORD)” means awe, respect, or submission to Him. Whenever God or a deity was mentioned in this way, this is what the people were expressing. It was a positive, not a negative. That is what it meant and means in the Bible. Over time, and as some people declared themselves monotheists, “fear” was also translated to mean horror. Christians, for instance, express awe, reverence, and respect as fear, and then there is the fear of punishment, hell, and damnation. Depending on the lens you look through determines your interpretation.
So when you read the Bible verse above, do you read humility as the fear (respect) of the Lord? Or do you read it as fearing punishment by God, and you opt for humility? Are you complying and submitting out of honor and respect? Or to avoid punishment?
Humility is a modest or low view of your own importance. That’s not to be confused with self-deprecation or low self-esteem. God doesn’t want you to think low of yourself. He made you. You are loved and protected by Him. He made you perfect in His sight. You aren’t worthless, you aren’t someone’s footstool, and you don’t deserve mistreatment and slavery. That isn’t what humility is about. Humility prevents others from treating you as though you’re less than.
Humility also means you don’t treat people like they’re less than you. There is no humility in elitism, classism, racism, sexism, etc. Your perceived power over others indicates you believe yourself to be of greater importance. That is not modesty. That is not humility. Are you serving or expecting to be served? That’s just one of your tests.
Humility requires us to be less of an extrovert, not being the center of attention, not trying to get credit for everything we take part in, not trying to get social media likes and followers, and choosing instead to be modest. It’s elevating someone above us because our ego is in check, and we are centered on and aligned with God. Humility steers us away from “big-head syndrome,” which pops up when we take on fancy titles, acquire expensive things, and gain popularity.
So back to the Bible verse—if humility is the way to riches, honor, and life, why are we not submitting our hearts and minds to living this way? Are you ready to surrender? Or is your ego struggling with a sense of importance or a desire for fame?
Look closely at many of the famous people from the past who craved fame—how many of them walked in honor, with untainted wealth, and lived long and healthy lives? Many of them didn’t. So many faced scandals, died tragically, struggled with reality, and more.
Look at today’s celebrities and their struggles. Their demons make regular appearances, ensuring the celebrity’s face will be plastered all over the news, social media, and magazines. Look at everything they sacrifice and trade for fame, to be the center of attention. Have you noticed that the ones who choose a life of modesty and humility are also rarely in the tabloids? You don’t hear of them being caught up in a scandal. It’s like they understand the trappings, and they choose a different path. You hear more about their benevolence than any antics.
I always cringe when I hear or read someone say they want to be famous. It’s a trap. It’s the temptation of the flesh. The riches, honor, and life they desire can only come from living a life of humility. Being more than okay behind the camera, but elevating and giving credit to others when you are in front of the camera. Humility is “we,” not “I.” Humility honors those who made it possible for you to be where you are. It’s understanding and declaring that you aren’t self-made—someone helped you along the way. It’s paying forward, the gifts given to you. That’s the life I want to consistently live; how about you?
Father, there is nothing or no one I should be in awe of or submit to but You. There is no greater power or presence than You. There is no source capable of providing me with everlasting joy, happiness, love, and life than You. I can’t thrive, gain riches and wealth, or grow without You. I can’t be in perfect mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional health without You. I humbly surrender to You Father. I humbly admit that without You there is no me. Without You I have no home. Without You I can’t eat or drink. Without You there is no purpose. You are everything and my everything.
I fear not pleasing You because I know it hurts You, and my heart hurts to think of that. I fear losing Your favor, because I want to serve You and be the best ambassador that I can be. Show me the way Lord. Show me how to serve You best. Show me how to humble myself to Your liking. I know you didn’t create me to be a footstool or to treat others as though they are footstools.
Show me how to best be receptive to You Father. I want to see what You have before me. I want to hear Your voice, even at a whisper. I want to feel Your touch, even if it’s like a light breeze. I want blandness to taste rich. I want the slightest scent to be delightfully overwhelming. I want to be aligned with you fully and always. This can only happen with You and through following Your son Jesus. Show me how Father. I love you. Amen.
Copyright 2011-2022. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha L. Foreman. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com
Music: Quiescent In Time by Shane Ivers – https://www.silvermansound.com