Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)
FOCUS on the phrase found in Matthew 11:29 “for I am…humble in heart…”
Jesus tells us that HE is humble. The word humble does not mean weak, tepid, fearful, or frail. In fact, it’s just the opposite. It is strength under the control of the Holy Spirit. Humility is an anti-pride choice a man makes, putting God and others before himself. Humility places self-centeredness on the altar. He was the Son of God, God in the flesh, demonstrating a kind of humility the world had ever seen. God became human, and in doing so took upon Himself the limitations of humanity. Jesus didn’t have to do this, but He chose to do it because He loves us so much. Humility is driven by one’s love for God, which gives us a love for others.
Humility is a quality that requires strength of resolve where you choose to understand and accept that submitting to the Lordship of Jesus Christ means not being in absolute control of your life. Many men, including Christian men, struggle with the issue of control. Humility gives up that control to God and reminds us that we cannot walk through life without the help of the Father.
In this passage, Jesus uses the example of a yoke, a wooden instrument that joins two animals, allowing a heavy load to be pulled. He was referring to the yoke or heaviness of the Pharisees placing the letter of the Law above a personal relationship with God. In this case, following God became an undue burden instead of a blessing.
Jesus said that when we place our faith and trust in Him, He brings us rest, joy, peace, and the happiness of a real and personal relationship with God. The Pharisees were prideful, even braggadocios, about how much they fasted, prayed, and followed the letter of the Law. Jesus, however, was humble. He understood the needs of people by bringing them relief from the crushing heaviness of religion. It is important to note that there is a difference between religion and a relationship. Religion focuses on keeping rules, doing this or not doing that. Christianity is a vibrant and exciting relationship. Life in a relationship is joyful rather than burdensome. Getting to know God rather than aiming to check off a list of rules, is the goal.
When a man chooses humility over pride, he is attractive to God and his faith becomes attractive to the world without God. Humility is a choice.
Lessons on Masculinity
- Pride is the number one enemy of humility. It is the feeling that you can do something in your own strength without God’s help. Pride is the feeling that you deserve better, more, or that you are more important than others. Daily, you must put your pride on the altar and choose humility, putting God and the needs of others first.
- Make certain that you have a real relationship with Jesus Christ, not just a religion. Salvation is an event. There is a time and place where you receive Jesus Christ into your life as your Savior and Lord, repenting of your sin and placing your faith in Jesus alone to forgive your sin. When and where was that event for you?
- Review your life and ask, “Have I treated someone in a manner not consistent with Jesus’ humility?” (Family member, friend, co-worker, neighbor, stranger)
- Attempt today to do something for someone who cannot do anything for you in return.
- Ask the Holy Spirit, “Am I too controlling in my marriage, my parenting, my attitude, or in any of my relationships?” When God is not in control of you, you will attempt to be in control of others.
“Humility is not a character trait to develop, it’s the natural by-product of being with Jesus.” –Louie Giglio
A man received a promotion to the position of Vice President of the company he worked for. The promotion went to his head, and for weeks on end, he bragged to anyone and everyone that he was now VP. His bragging came to an abrupt halt when his wife, so embarrassed by his behavior, said, “Listen, Bob, it’s not that big a deal. These days everyone’s a vice president. Why they even have a vice president of peas down at the supermarket!”
Somewhat deflated, Bob rang the local supermarket to find out if this was true. “Can I speak to the Vice President of peas please?” he asked, to which the reply came: “of fresh or frozen?”
Don’t get puffed up with your own importance. Just keep following the example of the Servant of all servants.
This week, choose someone to encourage and help, and do something for someone who cannot do anything for you in return. Who will that person be? Write their name here: _______________. Pray for wisdom to know what to do and how to help him.