Have you ever heard a humble brag? Here’s an example of some:
“Downsides of being such a hard worker…I’m bored half the day. #thestrugglewithbeingthebest”
“Life is hard: what should I choose…the BMW or the LEXUS? #inneedofadvice”
“I don’t understand why people compliment me even when I don’t wear makeup!? #youshouldseemelater”
The dictionary defines humility as a modest or low view of one’s own importance. I believe the Bible definition of humility is far different than that. Humility is not seeing yourself as unimportant or very low importance. In fact, God wants us to understand our very high value to Him.
Humility is just being exactly who God made and called you to be. No more and no less. It has more to do with an inward act of conforming to the will of God. And God promises something amazing will happen when we bow to His will.
Joshua 1:8b says “… be careful to do according to all that is written in [the Law]. For then you will make your way prosperous and then you will have good success.”
Dallas Willard uses three “P”s of humility:
1) Don’t pretend. Know exactly who you are and what you were made to be. Resist the temptation to be what you need to be in order for others to like you. Too much energy is expended listening to what the world says about you or trying to live up to others expectations when God has declared who you already are.
2) Never presume. Don’t assume how people should treat you or what you are owed in life. God has our life in His hands and He will direct us as needed.
3) Never push. Be confident in what is right, in who you are and who God is.
Humble brags are always written by ourselves about ourselves. In Judges we find a verse that was written about a man named Shamgar. I believe in this small verse we will be able to understand what Joshua meant when he wrote that prosperity and success would follow humility. This verse is the opposite of a humble brag. This verse is about a humble man.
After him was Shamgar the son of Anath, who killed 600 of the Philistines with an ox goad, and he also saved Israel. Judges 3:31
I believe Shamgar is an example of a man who acted in humility and obedience and because of it, he helped saved God’s people. I am going to use Willard’s three “P”s to describe the humble life of Shamgar.
1) He doesn’t pretend. Shamgar was a farmer, he was not a fighter. The club he used wasn’t a warrior’s weapon, but a farmer’s tool. Shamgar did not pretend to be someone he wasn’t. An ox goad or ploughshare is what was used to direct cattle. Shamgar used what he was familiar with and has years of practice with to carry out God’s plan for his life.
2) He never presumed. Shamgar was most likely both Jew and Gentile. One commentary said that as neither his name nor that of his father is Jewish we know that he was not pure blood Jewish. Without that pure bloodline Shamgar probably did not think he was likely to inherit all the promises given to the Israelites. But God calls everyone, regardless of what people will say
3) He didn’t push. Shamgar didn’t push his own agenda above God’s will. What I’ve found reading the Bible is whenever God issues a calling, that calling never comes with a massive change in personality or gifting. The individual stays who he is and what they already have is instead used for God’s glory. If Shamgar was able to lead warrior’s and defeat 600 enemies, he must have been strong and powerful. He was born with the ability to fight and lead. But we saw earlier, Shamgar was a mixed Gentile/Jew and farmer.
Do you think he ever felt as he was prodding cattle that he was called to something more? That he had a gifting that was intended for something bigger? Why didn’t he leave the farm life and go off to join the army? We don’t know, but what we do know is he stayed as a farmer. He didn’t push his own plans or agenda. He stayed and faithfully cared for the cattle even when he felt equipped, gifted and called for more.
Simply put, God will place into your hands what you need for where you are to answer His call.
What’s in your hand Shamgar? You’re living on a farm. Be faithful and lead those cattle.
What’s in your hand Shamgar? You’re in battle. Be faithful and use what you have been trained with to save my people.
The call of God is to be humble; it is to be you. Not sure of who you are?
What is in your hand?
-written by Zach and Allison Zehnder