Family Bible Study lesson for April 24: Humble Living : Friday, April 8, 2005
April 8 2005 by Phillip Hamm

Family Bible Study lesson for April 24: Humble Living : Friday, April 8, 2005
Friday, April 8, 2005

Family Bible Study lesson for April 24: Humble Living

By Phillip Hamm
Focal Passages: James 4:1-10,13-17

Do you remember the last time you really messed up at something? The time you congratulated a woman on her pregnancy only to find out she wasn't pregnant at all? Or the time you were convinced that emu meat was the beef of the future and you invested all your retirement and savings in emu farming? Or the time your wife got a new dress and asked you if she looked fat? These are events we would like to forget. But God has a way of using these events to teach us how to overcome our pride.

Prayerfully Avoid Selfish Pride

James 4:1-5

Most of the problems we have with other people are the result of pride. Each of us thinks that we have the best answer, the best solution, and the best way. These attitudes only lead to conflict and confirm the world's assertion that Christians aren't really that different from everybody else.

My wife and I recently purchased a hamster for our daughter on her 5th birthday. The mouse-like varmint was affectionately named "Chester" by our daughter. An unfortunate incident occurred only 5 days after Chester came to live in our house ... he died. My daughter took the news rather well, and I removed Chester from the cage and placed him in a sandwich bag. I intended to take the hamster "formerly known as Chester" back to the pet store for a refund during my lunch break. What I didn't count on was for the temperature to soar into the 70's that morning. When lunch time came, I left the office and climbed into my car only to be met with a stench that I was pretty sure was not present earlier that morning. As you guessed, I looked over at the passenger seat, where Chester was reminding me to return him to the pet store.

I think the world gets tired of smelling the stench of Christian pride. Our pride can lead us to believe that we are better than others. Pride doesn't reflect the newness that Christ gives but rather stinks of death from our old life.

James 4:4 says that "whoever makes himself a friend with the world is an enemy with God." As Christians, we are to handle everything differently than the world. The only way to show people in our communities that we are different is to prayerfully avoid selfish pride. We can do this only when we humbly submit to God.

Humbly Submit to God

James 4:6-10

Being humble doesn't come natural to anyone. Humility requires us to recognize that we are wrong, or at a minimum, that someone else might know more than we do. When the state trooper walks up to the window of your car and asks if you know how fast you were going, that is the perfect time to practice being humble. Chances are that he already knows how fast you were going, it's simply your turn to admit you were wrong. All in all, you must submit to his authority because of his position as an officer.

Spiritual humility only comes when we submit to God as verse 7 tells us. We can only submit to God when we recognize that we are wrong in our pride and God, due to His position as Supreme Being, is in absolute authority over our lives. With the difficult step of submission made, we will then have the desire to seek after God's will for our lives.

Earnestly Seek God's Will

James 4:13-17

The difficult part about God's will is not necessarily determining it, but obeying it. God typically has very little trouble communicating to us what He wants. We on the other hand have great difficulty doing what He wants.

Mark Twain once wrote: "It's not the things about the Bible that I don't understand that bother me. It's the things that I do understand that bother me the most."

We usually make plans and ask God to endorse them. I wonder what difference God could make through us if we were more likely to obey the simple plans He has already taught in scripture.

In order for us to lay aside our plans and follow through with what He has taught, we must admit His plans are better. By earnestly seeking God's will we will take a step in overcoming our selfish pride.

4/8/2005 12:00:00 AM by Phillip Hamm | with 0 comments

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