By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
Sometimes we get caught up in our daily lives and lose focus on what is truly important. We allow failures at work, arguments with loved ones, and things not turning out the way we planned to depress us. Throughout the Bible, believers reflect on the promises of God when they find themselves in tough situations.
At times our beliefs and individual experiences make it very difficult for us to understand the situation another is facing. When we attempt to judge others based on our personal expectations, it can lead to trouble. We can form biases, prejudices, and show favoritism towards things that matter to us, but not to God.
1 Samuel 16:6-7 (ESV): When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord's anointed is before him.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
God does not see the world as we see it. He is not looking for the strongest or the smartest person, He is looking for the purest heart. God regularly chooses the weakest person by our standards because it is human tendency to glorify the created, instead of the creator. You will see throughout Scripture, God chooses the weakest person to help us not to make this mistake. The problem arises because we are still not humble enough to appreciate God’s almighty power and grace. Even though the situation is difficult to explain, humans tend to credit what they can see before they credit what they cannot.
Philippians 2:3-7 (ESV): Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
Jesus desires for us to follow His pattern and have a heart of humility. Not looking to exalt our own strengths, but focused on the needs and talents of others. When we count others greater than ourselves and focus on their interests, we are not only humbling ourselves to them, but to God.
James 4:6 (ESV): But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
God will not elevate the prideful because His will is for all to be saved. Scripture speaks of pride as leading to a fall or destruction. God will not exalt the prideful because He knows that will further the likelihood of them not being humble enough to put on Christ in baptism. In addition, the prideful could lead others astray as they are representing themselves, not God as the answer. We must be humble enough to be a bondservant to Jesus Christ, willing to sacrifice our interests and well-being for the furthering of God’s kingdom. By living a life of selflessness and humility, God will reward us for our service. As Scripture says, the last will become first and the first shall become last.