Humility: The secret to peace

VIDEO: Human nature is to float upwards, seeking the things we desire. But is that really the way to peace?

The importance of being humble

Being humble. Jesus’ own words in Matthew 23:12 tell us just how crucial this is: “And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” When you put this together with what James writes about humility, you can see that it is foundational to finding rest and peace and everything you need in life.

“God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:1-10.

In this video we explore just what it is that humility does for you and your relationship to God, and why it should be something you pursue with all of your heart.

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Audio transcript: Humility – The secret to peace

The secret to a happy and peaceful life is the opposite to what you might expect …

Let’s say that I am this little dot. And I’m not quite at rest; there’s something there and that wants or needs “something more.”

Our human nature is to float upwards, chasing the things that we desire, hoping to find that “something more.” Without even thinking about it, that’s what I do naturally. I’m like a balloon under water; I can’t help it. There is this feeling: maybe the restlessness will go away when I’ve achieved what I desire, maybe I can reach the surface of the water and come to rest.

These desires can be anything that’s all about me. The things that I want and the things that give me honor and recognition from the people around me. It’s really about me being the most important, which is the cause for hurt feelings, anger, disappointment or discouragement when things don’t go my way or others don’t agree with me.

In all this striving for being “right” and having a good appearance, it’s easy to compare myself with others and start competing with them. I begin to envy the others or look down on them, even my own friends. My own honor and well-being become more important to me than anything else. I keep believing that the restlessness will go away when I finally get what I “deserve” or want, even though it never does, no matter what I achieve.

Will it really satisfy my spirit when I finally get my honor or recognition from people? Not at all. If I can’t manage to get what I desire, I become unhappy and restless. And if I do get what I desire, I don’t get the expected satisfaction either. There isn’t a peaceful water surface up there. I will still feel a desire to get even more; it’s never enough.

But what if everything was completely different? What if I desired ... nothing at all for myself? What if my desire was to please God alone? Then it wouldn’t be hard to get exactly what I desire. I just humble myself and acknowledge that my own desires didn’t do anything good, so I give it all up. I start to look for what is pleasing to God instead. That liberating decision will finally give peace to my spirit. It’s the spirit that God gave to me, which He longs to have communion with, and which itself longs to go back to Him. I now start to serve, instead of living for myself. And I start to do the good because of my love for God and other people, and not because I want to be seen as a good person.

The pride inherent in human nature is still pulling me up, especially when people praise me for the good things that I’ve done. But I fight against that, with the grace that God gives me, which is the power to deny my own desires. And each time that I feel any kind of restlessness, I know the way back to peace. And as the honor from people around me becomes less and less important to me, the peace in my spirit becomes deeper and deeper, and I come closer and closer to God.

This secret is actually an insight into God’s view of things. As Jesus teaches us: “But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Matthew 23:11-12.

We recommend reading the Bible verses in the video description. It’s extremely interesting. Thanks for watching!

Bible verses referenced:

James 4:1-10

Matthew 23:11-12

Ephesians 4:15

Romans 12:9-10,16

1 Peter 5:5-6

Matthew 11:28-30

Ezekiel 21:26

Isaiah 2:11-17

John 5:44

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, unless otherwise specified. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.