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Summary: Learn about the first step to promotion in this enlightening sermon about humility.

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How Low Can You Go?

Humility: The First Step to Promotion

“Attitude” Series

I. Introduction

(The following is a parable that I made up as an introduction. It is fictional. For a story of similar proportion, see the movie RADIO.)

He was never an all-star athlete, although he wanted to be. He didn’t have what it takes. Bobby’s body was disproportionate; one leg was longer than the other was, so he walked funny. And to see him run was definitely a sight for sore eyes. He always liked sports, in fact, every Friday night, he would be at his high school cheering on whatever team was playing that night--basketball, football, baseball, soccer, tennis. If there was a game, he was there, sporting pom-poms and a foam finger that said his team was number one.

One Friday night, the football coach noticed his dedication to the team, so he asked him if he’d like to be the water boy. Bobby was amazed. Besides all the stares and giggles because of his limp, he had never thought anyone ever noticed him, especially Coach Gordon. Bobby had tried out for the football team two years earlier, and the coach sent him packing. “You’re too…uncoordinated,” he said. But now, the chance to be the water boy. Bobby jumped on the opportunity and the next week, he was at practice everyday, filling cups with water and making sure every player had something to drink when he needed it.

Every now and then, a couple of the players would make fun of him. However, Bobby loved his position as the teams water boy and wasn’t going to quit. His parents told him that being the water boy on a team was the lowest of the low, and that they would never stoop so low as to being the water boy. In spite of his parents’ comments, Bobby was diligent to serve as the teams water boy for the entire season. The next year, Bobby’s senior year, Coach appointed Bobby as his personal assistant. Coach Gordon was so pleased with Bobby’s heart, that he took him in and taught him everything he knew about football. Bobby went on to college the next year, and in addition to his studies, Coach Gordon had asked him to be the assistant coach. Bobby helped coach the team all throughout college where he graduated with a degree in Sports Management. Bobby continued to move up the ladder and at the end of his career, he had won two Super Bowls and owned his own football team.

What was the first step to Bobby’s success? Do you think if Bobby was “too good” to be the water boy that he would have had such success in football?

Tonight we’re going to talk about humility: the first step to promotion.

II. First Things First

What is humility?

Humility is the exact opposite of pride. Pride means to puff oneself up. A prideful person is always talking about himself. Every sentence begins with I and ends with me. A humble person, therefore, is one who puts everyone else before himself. A humble person puts himself on the bottom of the list. A humble person always looks out for others and makes it a point to serve them.

Philippians 2:3 “3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”

Humility is considering others better than yourself.

III. Humble Yourself Before Somebody Humbles You

Luke 14:7-11 (MSG) “Noticing how each had tried to elbow into the place of honor, he said, “When someone invites you to dinner, don’t take the place of honor. Somebody more important than you might have been invited by the host. Then he’ll come and call out in front of everybody, ‘You’re in the wrong place. The place of honor belongs to this man.’ Red-faced, you’ll have to make your way to the very last table, the only place left.

“When you’re invited to dinner, go and sit at the last place. Then when the host comes he may very well say, ‘Friend, come up to the front.’ That will give the dinner guests something to talk about! What I’m saying is, if you walk around with your nose in the air, you’re going to end up flat on your face. But if you’re content to be simply yourself, you will become more than yourself.”

Luke 14:11 (NIV) “11For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Ok, let me break this down for you in modern terms. When somebody’s throwing a party and they invite you, don’t show up thinking you’re all that and a bag of chips, plop down in homeboy’s big recliner and make yourself comfortable. Because homeboy’s going to come over and say, “Yo, everybody, listen up. Small-time over here thinks he can sit in Big Poppa’s recliner.” Everybody will laugh at you and homeboy will say, “Get up Tiny, because this seat is reserved for Big Poppa.” Then you’ll have to get up and sit on the floor in the back of the room where you can’t see the TV. No, when you’re invited to a party, go and sit on the floor in the back of the room where you can’t see the TV. Then when homeboy comes around giving props to his peeps, he’ll see you on the floor, and say, “What up, Big-Time?! You don’t have to chill on the floor. Come on over here and catch a seat in my recliner, right in front of the TV.” Then, as you make your way to the big seat, everybody’s gonna be giving you high fives and shout outs. Here’s the deal: If you walk around like you own the place, you’re gonna get shot down, but if you come in and just chill, you’ll get pumped up.

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