Summary: This series is an indepth study of the Love Chapter, and verses have the power to strengthen and even repair our relationships. This sermon focuses on humility.
Love is All We Need
Love is Humble
July 24, 2005
A young woman went to her pastor and said, "Pastor, I have a terrible sin in my life, and I need your help. I come to church on Sunday and can’t help thinking I’m the prettiest girl in the congregation. I know I ought not think that, but I can’t help it. I want you to help me with it. "The pastor replied, "Mary, don’t worry about it. In your case it’s not a sin. It’s just a horrible mistake."
We will be focusing on humility today. Being humble is hard! It’s a challenge for all of us. I have a pastor buddy who said he had an awesome sermon on humility but was waiting for a large enough crowd before preaching it.
There was an old song that said, “Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble, but I’m doin’ the best that I can!” We can all do better.
I want to pick up where Pastor Jim left off last week. He and the youth are suffering for Jesus today in Panama City Beach. As we move though our series, “Love is All We Need” we’re studying a section of 1 Corinthians 13, commonly known as the Love Chapter, and we’re examining what love really is, according to the God’s design. We’ve previously studied that love is patient and kind, and last week Jim taught us that love is not envious, and in order to really love, we must choose to be satisfied, with our relationships and with Jesus himself.
We’re studying this portion of scripture in detail because our relationships crave love; we crave love. These verses have the power to strengthen and even repair our relationships, and they are the most valuable things in our lives.
This week we finally finish verse four.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
1 Cor. 13:4 (NIV)
“Love is not boastful or proud.” How are you doing on this one? Are you seeking more humility in your life or are you on a pride ride?
Pride is the dandelion of the soul. Its root goes deep; only a little left behind sprouts again. Its seeds lodge in the tiniest encouraging cracks. And it flourishes in good soil: The danger of pride is that it feeds on goodness.
Pride and humility interact against one another, and they have a yin/yang relationship. The more pride you have, the less humility. The more humility you have, the less pride. This flux is constant, and one way or another the balance of the two adds up to 100%. You might be 65% proud in the moment, which means you can only be 35% humble right then. So, the more proud you are, the more you have diminished your humble spirit. When we can demonstrate more humility we have diminished our pride. So, it will take some work, but we can practice humility more often with those we love. John the Baptist spoke true humility.
He must increase, but I must decrease.
John 3:30 (KJV)
John was responding to his disciples griping about people going to Jesus for baptism rather than continuing to come to John. John had baptized Jesus, and now they were going to Him! John taught them that the most important thing was for Jesus to increase, and that would only happen if he decreased. That’s a central truth for us today as we seek to be more humble.
You can increase your humility through some shifts in your thoughts.
1. Decrease your desire to impress
Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others.
Philippians 2:3 (NLT)
That’s what pride does. Pride is all about impressions, making others think what you want them to think. The root of pride is selfishness; we think more about and are focused more on ourselves. You’ve heard about people who have an “I” problem. “I, I, I…” Humility is making a decision not to live to impress.
Pride creeps in- it’s a very effective tool of the Evil One. So we find ourselves thinking, “How will this look to others? Will this decision or will this purchase make me look good?” “What kind of clothes, what kind of car, what kind of home is good enough for me?” It’s hard to care about someone else and love them if we are always focused on how impressive we are. No one like to be around someone who is self centered. Love is to share, not to hold inward.
We all have our areas of susceptibility to pride. One of my areas is sports. I don’t want to play if I don’t think I can’t play well. So you don’t catch me out shooting hoops with the boys. I know they’ll beat me bad. You don’t find me playing volleyball anymore. I just can’t keep up. So I stick to softball, and my pride still gets in the way. The moment I’m wondering why the second baseman let a simple ground ball go through his legs, the next ball is hit to me in the outfield, and I bobble it, and then throw it wildly so the runners get extra bases. Or the minute I gripe about everybody popping the ball up instead of getting a hit, than I come up and hit a weak fly ball that anybody’s grandma could catch in her rocking chair. It’s true- be humble or you’ll stumble, whether it’s something trivial like a softball game or something much more important, like realizing the job is not to “save face” when you’re wrong.