Joyce Meyer - Characteristics of Humility
Well, thank you for joining us today on, "Enjoying Everyday Life". Jesus said, in John 10:10, "The thief comes only to kill, to steal, and destroy, but I came that you might have and enjoy your life and have it in abundance, to the full, until it overflows". So, we hope and pray that everyday, hearing the Word of God, gives you more and more joy.
Well, today, I wanna talk to you about something that I'm sure you will be so excited about. I wanna talk to you about humility. Probably, one of the more difficult Fruit of the Spirit to develop. But possibly, one of the most important ones that we need to work with the Holy Spirit on. Humility is the only antidote for pride. We can't just make pride go away. We have to let God work humility in our lives. And he says, "Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God that in due time, he might exalt you". But I've often said, "If you won't humble yourself then God will have to do it for you".
Or I like this: if we will learn to receive correction in private, God will always try to correct us. But if we don't listen, when he does it privately then he will have to do it publicly, and that is much more painful. Pride is the root of all sin. Pride is the sin that Satan committed when he was kicked out of heaven. He said, "I will exalt my throne above the throne of God". Well, "No, you won't". God is in charge. He's above all. He has a right to be obeyed. He expects us to be obeyed-he expects us to obey him. And if we do, things are gonna go good in our lives.
That doesn't mean everything's gonna be perfect. But if we do what God tells us to do, he says that you're life will be blessed. But if we don't do what he tells us to do then we're not gonna like the way things turn out. In Proverbs, it says that pride always comes before destruction. And it says, that it's impossible to have strife without pride. So, will you just stop and think with me for a minute about all the strife in our world today. It is almost unbelievable, how many angry people there are. And it's increasing, I mean, fast. It's like, everybody today, they don't like somethin' and so, they make a big deal out of it and come against it.
We need to be praying that God will help us do what we need to do, stay under what he wants us to stay under, resist what he wants us to resist, and we need to walk in love. In Matthew 24, it says plainly that one of the signs of the end times is that Satan wants to try to build a stronghold of cold love. It says, "The love of the great body", which is the body of Christ, "Will grow cold because of multiplied wickedness and lawlessness in the land and many will be offended".
It's so easy today, for people to get offended and to get angry, and there's so much strife. But Jesus has called us to peace, that's what he wants us to have. And where there's peace, there's power. But we're not gonna have peace without humility, because where there's pride, there's always strife. Pride says, "I'm better than you". Pride says, "I'm right and you're wrong", and pride says, "I know more than you do". But we're to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God. You don't have to think that you're less than other people, but we're certainly not supposed to think that we're better than other people. All judgement comes from pride. When we criticize people behind their back, it comes from pride.
So, I have ten characteristics of a humble person. And I'm gonna do as many as I can today, and if I don't get finished, then I'll finish it tomorrow. Now, don't turn the television off because I said I'm talking about humility. This is one of the most important things that we can learn. Because I can tell you, a person who is a proud person has many, many problems in their life.
The first thing that a humble person will do is ask for help when they need it. But the carnal and the proud person wants to do it themselves and they want to do it their way because they're sure that their way is the right way and nobody else's way would be as good as theirs. When we ask others to help us and we give them a job to do, we have to give them some room and some liberty to do it based on how they feel in their heart it should be done. But a leader, or a manager, or anybody in authority, or even a parent over a child, if you have to micromanage everything they do and if you expect them to do it the way you would do it, because no other way is right, but yours, then you're never gonna be able to get anybody to help you because they won't be able to work with you or for you.
You know, David, the Psalmist David, really felt in his heart that he could defeat Goliath, the giant, that was coming against the Israeli army. And nobody believed that he could do it, including king Saul. But Saul finally said, "Well, alright, I'll let you try, but you have to wear my armor". In other words, you have to do it the way I would do it. And the Bible says that David could not defeat Goliath with Saul's armor on. And you know what? Nobody else can do anything exactly the way you do it.
And so, here, at the ministry, in the beginning, I made decisions about everything. I mean, the colors in the magazine, all the resource covers. Everything, I made decisions about everything. But it got to the point where I was just about to drive myself crazy trying to handle everything myself, and I knew that I needed to start delegating to other people. Well, I wasn't a great delegator because I wanted them to do the work, but I wanted to tell them exactly how to do it. And I had to learn that if I was going to let other people have responsibility that I also needed to give them authority. And I had to learn that, believe it or not, sometimes they would do it better than I would have done it, if I would give them the space to do it. And we need to do that.
You know, you'll break your child's spirit if every time they try to step out and do something for you, you find ten things wrong with it. Let them have some responsibility and let them have some authority. Of course, it has to be age appropriate. God does not want us to be independent, he wants us to be dependent on him. Dependent on him. I think, in our society, we think, "Well, I'm an independent person. I do what I want to". Well, that's not the way God wants us to be. Independent means self-governing, free from influence, free from guidance or control, self-reliant: doesn't that sound pretty much like the way most people in the world wanna be? I think it does.
I used to be that way. Nobody was gonna tell me what to do. I remember when I was still home being mistreated by my dad and controlled and manipulated, I remember making vows to myself, "When I get outta here, nobody's ever gonna tell me what to do again". Well, when I started trying to have a relationship with God, I found out pretty quick that wasn't gonna work, because God wants us all to be able to come under authority. First, his authority, and then other authorities that he places in our life. It means not dependent, not affiliated with a larger group our system.
Sometimes, you hear people say, "Well, that guy's just not a team player", or, "That woman's just not a team player". Well, what does that mean? It means that they can't work with a group of other people because their way is the only way, and they won't even really listen to anybody else's thoughts or ideas. But the word dependent, to depend means, now, this is gonna sound odd, at first, it means to hang down. But if you think about it, Jesus said, "I'm the vine, you're the branch. If you abide in me, you will bear much fruit". Well, fruit just hangs down on a branch. All it's doing is receiving life that's coming through the vine and out of the branch.
And by, hanging there and being dependent on that vine, it grows. And that's the way we're to be with Jesus. We're supposed to hang on to him in every single situation and depend on him. It means being totally dependent. It means to trust or rely on for support. We need to depend on God to help us in every situations. A person, who is humble, does not take credit that's due to God, nor do they take credit that actually, is due to someone else. John 15:4 and 5, says, "Remain in me, and I'll remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself: it must remain on the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me". Now, listen. "I am the vine: you're the branch. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit: but apart from me you can do nothing".
You know, before I came to the studio this morning to record these teachings, I was praying at home and I said, "God, I need you to help me today". Now, I've done this thousands of times before, but that doesn't mean that I'm gonna do it good today if I don't get God to help me, and the way you get God's help is by asking for it. Even asking God for help shows humility. "God, I need you to help me because apart from you, I can do nothing". And I remembered what Paul said, "In me, that is in my flesh, dwells no good thing". I said that, "God, nothing good is gonna come through me unless you help me today".
You know what? Every, single day before you do very much at all, I encourage you to pray like that: "God, I need you. Apart from you, I can do nothing. I need you in every situation, today". We need God and he wants us to depend on him. Romans 12:3: "Don't think of yourself more highly than you ought to. Don't have an exaggerated opinion of your own importance". You know what? That's so good, I gotta read it to you again. "Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought to. Don't have an exaggerated opinion of your own importance". Now, you don't need to think that you're beneath everybody else. But we don't need to think that were above everybody else either. We should not think that we've got it all together and everybody else is just a big mess.
Number two: the humble are quick to forgive, difficult to offend, and they gladly wait on God to vindicate them. You know, a proud person is always, "I'm gonna get you back for that. I'm gonna make you suffer because you didn't treat me right". But a humble person forgives quickly because they realize and remember all the things that God has to forgive them for. And they're not easily offended because humble people walk in love, and love is not easily offended.
The Bible says, "Love is not touchy". Are you a touchy person? God wants you to get over that. Are you able to believe the best of other people or are you suspicious, and every time somebody hurts your feelings, you think they did it on purpose? You know what? I know that there's times when I hurt people and I don't intend to hurt them, that's not what I set out to do. But I do. Maybe because I'm being thoughtless, or you know, I think I'm being funny, but they don't think what I said is funny. And I am really grateful when people forgive me and look over my weaknesses.
Well, one of the best ways that I can reap that in my life is by sowing it into other people's lives. Treat people the way you want to be treated. Colossians 3:13 says, "Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you". So, I just wanna ask you a question, right now. Who are you mad at? Hopefully and prayerfully, you can say nobody. But if you are mad at anybody, God wants you to forgive them.
You say, "Well, you don't know what they did to me". Well, nobody can do any more to me than what I've done against God in my lifetime, and he forgives me, forgets my sins. He forgives you, forget your sins, and removes them as far as the east is from the west. A humble person is long-suffering with the weaknesses of other people. These scriptures in Galatians are so good, please listen. "Brethren, if any person is overtaken in misconduct or sin of any sort, you who are spiritual", and of course, I know we're, "Well, that's me. I'm spiritual". Well, here's what a person is. "Someone that's responsive to and controlled by the Holy Spirit".
Well, if we're controlled by the Holy Spirit, we will be quick to forgive. You that are spiritual, "Should set him right", well, I know we like that part, "Restore him, reinstate him, without any sense of superiority and with all gentleness, keeping an attentive eye on yourself, lest you should also be tempted". Oh, my goodness, is that so good? In other words, when somebody else has a failure in their life, a moral failure, or they sin, or they do something wrong, number one, you should not see how fast you can go tell it to a bunch of other people. Love covers a multitude of sins. It doesn't rehearse them and spread bad news. But another thing we should not do is say, "Well, I would never do that". That's about one of the silliest things we can say because we all have weaknesses, and put in the same situation that they're put in, you don't know exactly what you would do.
I remember a woman that I worked with one time, there was another girl at our company whose husband cheated on her, and she took him back. She forgave him and took him back. And this woman told me, she said, "I would never do that. If my husband ever cheated on me, that would be it. I would never take him back". Well, you know what? A few years after that, her husband cheated on her. Her Christian husband cheated on her with another woman in the church. And you know what? She did everything that she could to keep her marriage together, and more than anything, she was ready to take him back.
So, the very thing she said that she would never do, she turned around and did. And how many times have we said, "I would never do that", and then found ourselves later, doing the exact thing that we said we would never do. "Bear, endure, and carry one another's burdens and troublesome, moral faults". You know what that means? If I just put it a little plainer: put up with people. I think people sometimes have to put up with my weaknesses. And if you're gonna have good, long-lasting relationships with anybody, I don't know of any person that's perfect.
I don't know of anybody that you can be in relationship with that is perfect, that is never going to do anything that you don't like. And if that's what you're looking for in life, you probably gonna be disappointed over, and over, and over again. But remember that you're not perfect and neither am i. I have to remember that. And so, here again, remembering the good things about people can help you rather than just sitting around thinking about everything that's wrong with them all the time.
So, the Bible says that you have to be ready to endure, and bury, and carry other people's troublesome, moral faults. Wow, that's not easy to do is it? But we can do it if we have a humble mind and we realize, "Well God, I've made a lot of mistakes myself and people have to put up with me. Lord, you put up with me". Think about all the years the Holy Spirit followed you around and tried to convict you and convince you to turn to God, and everything you did was against God's will, but he didn't give up on you, he stuck with you. And now, you love him, and you have a much better life.
"Bear (endure, and carry) one another's burdens and troublesome moral faults, and in this way you will fulfill and observe perfectly the law of Christ (the Messiah)", which is the law of love. "And complete what is lacking in your obedience to it. For as any person thinks himself to be somebody too important to condescend to shoulder another's load when he is nobody of superiority except in his own estimation, he deceives and deludes and cheats himself". Uh-oh, I'm no better than anybody else and neither are you.
Number three: a person who's humble is a peacemaker and a peace lover. They enjoy a life of peace. Remember, we said in the beginning that it's impossible to have strife without pride? Well, it's impossible to have peace without humility. Let's just say, when you have a disagreement with somebody, and maybe, you get into an argument and you both say things that you shouldn't say, are you willing to always be the first one to apologize? Are you quick to go and try to make things right? Or do you stubbornly sit back and think, "They need to apologize to me because they were wrong and I was right".
You know, I don't know about you, but for some reason my husband doesn't seem to think that he needs to apologize very often. And I'm sure, a lot of you are like that. If you're a woman married to somebody who doesn't seem to get it. My husband never means to hurt me, but sometimes he does. And in the very beginning of our marriage, I just felt like that God was always nagging me to go and apologize to Dave and make things right. And I remember saying to the Lord one time, "It's not my turn. I apologized to Dave last". Well, where can you find in the Bible that you're supposed to apologize if it's your turn. Actually, I believe, the first one to apologize is the one that is more spiritually mature.
One of the reasons why Dave doesn't see the need to apologize is because he lets things go really fast, where I would hang on to things and make a big deal out of it. Many times, I was sitting around waiting for him to come and tell me how sorry he was about something that he didn't even realize he did, because men and women are just different. Maybe it was a day where I was wearing my emotions on my sleeve and he didn't really realize it. So, don't be the kind of person that always sits around and waits for somebody else to apologize, do it quick. Go make peace with people quick, and just say, "Look, I don't even care who was right or who was wrong. I just want us to have peace. I'm sorry, please forgive me, and let's get along and be kind to one another".
I've yet to say that to anybody and have them refuse to forgive me. You know, it's very important to God that we get along. Philippians 2:2-5 says, "Fill up and complete my joy by living in harmony and being of the same mind and one in purpose, having the same love, being in full accord and of one harmonious mind and intention". Wow. You know how hard it is for people to get along these days? But Paul said, "You can complete my joy", and he wrote this inspired by the Holy Spirit. "You can complete my joy by getting along". I don't like it... I have four grown children. I don't like it if they're not getting along. I have 12 grandchildren. I don't like it if they're not getting along. It makes me sad when they're not getting along.
We have, I don't know, 450 employees at the ministry. I don't like it when I hear that people in departments can't get along or that departments are not getting along. I want peace, because where peace is there's power. Where peace is God's anointing abides there. And I want our ministry to be powerful. So, we work very hard to keep the strife out of Joyce Meyer Ministries. Romans 12:16-18 says, "Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. And do not be conceited".
Let's just think about Jesus as we finish off this teaching today. And yes, I have seven more points to get through, and I will do all seven of them tomorrow. When Jesus was accused, he didn't get defensive. He washed his disciples feet. After his resurrection, after he died and resurrected from the dead, he cooked the disciples breakfast. He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. I personally think, I would have come in on a white charger. He did things so differently than we do. What we can learn from Jesus. He said, "Take my yoke upon you and learn of me for I'm humble, gentle, meek, and lowly".
Now, you know today, I always like to offer you more teaching because just this 25 minutes that you've gotten is not nearly enough. We always need more word. So today, we're offering you a book entitled, "Making Good Habits, Breaking Bad Habits". You know, sometimes just this pride thing can become a bad habit. And along with it, we wanna send you the, "Good Morning This is God Cute Funny". It's a coffee mug, or tea, or whatever you want to drink out of it. And it says, "Good morning, this is God. I'll be taking care of things today, and I won't need your help". It's a good reminder to start your day being dependent upon God. Thank you so much for being with us today. We love you, and I pray that you'll come back again tomorrow, so you can hear the rest of this teaching on humility.
Well, welcome to, "Enjoying Everyday Life", and thank you for being with us today. I started yesterday, teaching about humility, and about ten characteristics of humility. And I didn't get finished, I only got through three of them. So, we have seven left today, and you're thinking, "I wonder if you'll get done"? Well, I'm gonna really try. The three I talked about yesterday: is that a humble person will ask for help when they need it, a humble person is quick to forgive, difficult to offend, and they gladly wait on God for vindication. They are peacemakers and peace lovers and they enjoy a life of peace.
Now, pride is a huge problem. Pride was the sin that Satan committed when he got kicked out of heaven. He said, "I will exalt my throne above the throne of God". Everywhere that there's pride, there's always destruction. You can't have peace without humility because pride always opens the door for strife. And so, we find that if we really want to be obedient to God, we have to be humble because pride always thinks it knows better, and doesn't want to submit and be dependent on others.
So, number four, that we wanna start with today, is the humble see and readily admit their own weaknesses. They don't think they are more than what they are. They can receive correction without being defensive. You know, Jesus never got defensive. He was accused of all kinds of stuff. And most the time, he didn't even answer people. You know why? He knew who he was. And he knew that if he needed to be proved to be in the right that God would take care of that. The Bible says that God is our vindicator. And he will bring vindication to you, you don't have to try to get it yourself. Let people think what they want. You don't have to try to convince them that you're a good person. Just go ahead and be a good person, and sooner or later, they will see that.
Matthew 16:13-23, "When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, 'who do people say the son of man is'? And they replied, 'well, some say John the Baptist: some say Elijah: and some say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets'. He said, 'but what do you say'? And Simon Peter answered", you know, Peter was always quick, quick, quick to speak up, "He said, 'you are the Messiah, the son of the living God'. And Jesus replied, 'blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my father who is in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock'", the rock being Peter's faith, "'I will build my church and the gates of hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom: and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven'". He said, "Peter you're gonna have great, spiritual authority".
God had big plans for Peter. But you know what? As you're gonna see in the next few minutes, there was a big work that needed to be done in Peter before God could do that work. And you know what? God had big plans for me, but there was some things in me that we're getting in God's way that had to be dealt with before God could do what he wanted to do. And, not accusing, but that may be the possibility with you. Maybe you don't understand why things aren't moving faster in your life than they should. Well, maybe God's trying to deal with you about something and you just are not ready to admit it and submit to his ways. "I will give you the keys of the kingdom. I'll give you authority. I'll give you power".
That scripture is really for all of us. God wants us to have spiritual authority. "Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he would be killed and on the third day and then rise again to life". Now, gotta watch this, here's the pivotal point. We see something about Peter. "Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him".
Now, he'd have to have a boat load full of pride to do that. Few minutes ago, he's saying, "You are the Christ, the son of the living God", and now he takes it upon himself to correct Jesus. "'never, Lord', he said. 'this shall never happen to you'". Well, you might say, "Well, it's good. He didn't want Jesus to suffer". But he was still disagreeing with Jesus because Jesus just said, "This is going to happen". And I think there's a little possibility too, that since Peter was with Jesus, and he didn't wanna suffer, he didn't want Jesus to go get himself in a situation, where not only he, but they would all end up suffering.
"Jesus turned to Peter and said, 'get behind me, Satan'". Well, how would you like to hear that? I wouldn't care too much for that. I hope that God never has to say that to me. And he wasn't saying that Peter was Satan, but he was saying you're letting Satan work through you. And here's what he said. "'you are a stumbling block to me: you do not have in mind what concerns God, but your concerns are all merely human'". Why was he being a stumbling block to Jesus? Because he was trying to get Jesus not to do what God was telling him to do.
And you know, sometimes when God speaks to you about something he wants you to do, other people may not understand it and they might try to talk you out of it. And you'd have to realize that in that instance the enemy was working through them and don't submit or give in to that. Jesus went on in Matthew 26:31-35, "And Jesus told them, 'this night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: "I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered". But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee'".
Now, Peter again. You know, people with pride, they're very quick to always have an answer for everything. They're not very good at thinking before they speak. And so, therefore, they say a lot of foolish things. "Peter replied, 'even if everybody else falls away, I never will'. Jesus said, 'truly I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times'". Peter, he might as well have said, "You're thinking more highly of yourself than you ought to, you're not nearly as strong as you think you are, and I'm gonna show you tonight".
Remember, I said earlier, that God had some great plans for Peter, but Peter had a few things in him that had to be dealt with, well, this attitude of pride was one of them. "Peter declared, 'even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you'. And all the other disciples said the same thing". Well, Jesus was warning Peter of his upcoming denial. And he said, "Peter, I'm gonna pray for you". Now, listen to this. Luke 22:31-34, "'Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you like wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you've turned back, you will strengthen your brothers'".
Well, I would think most people, if Jesus said, "I'm praying for you", would say, "Oh, thank you, Jesus. I need it". "But Peter said, 'Lord, I'm ready to go with you to prison and to death'". In other words, "I don't need your prayer. I'm not gonna fall. I'm not gonna fail". "Jesus answered, 'I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times'". Wow. Well, then I could go ahead and tell you the story about how Peter did end up actually, denying Jesus three times. But in order to save time, for these other points I have, I'm not gonna read the whole thing. But Peter ended up doing exactly what Jesus told him he would do.
And it says, "The Lord turned and looked at Peter", can't imagine that look, "Then Peter remembered what the Lord said to him, 'before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times', and he went outside and he wept bitterly". That was the point of Peter's repentance, and that was what he needed to do. You might say that Peter had to meet himself. And I remember that.
You know, I remember years ago, I thought everything was everybody else's fault. And I, especially, thought everything was Dave's fault. If I was unhappy, it was Dave's fault. If I felt sorry for myself, it was because Dave wasn't doing something I wanted him to do. And I had so many problems, but I didn't know I had all the problems that I had. They were leftover junk from the abuse from my father that had never been dealt with in my life. And God had big plans for me, but he had to do a big work in me before he could release me into those plans.
Please, listen to me. We must let God, through the Holy Spirit, deal with us and do the work in us that he wants to do, if we ever want to really be in the center of God's will for us, and enjoy the good plan that he has for our life. And I actually, remember this. I was praying, one day, for Dave to change. And, I mean, I was praying loud. "Oh God, I ask you to change Dave"! And I heard the Holy Spirit sayin' to me, "The problem is not Dave". Well, I probably thought, "Well, who is? There's only me and Dave in this relationship"? And I can't remember exactly how it happened, but God revealed to me what it was like to live with me: how hard I was to get along with, how touchy I was, how easily I was angered, and how I would pout and stay mad for days at a time.
And you know what? I cried for three days. Just facing myself, like Peter, that was a point where I began to change. But I had a long way to go. The thing that happened that day is at least I believed what God was saying to me, and I realized that I had a problem and I needed to let God start working in me. I'd like to tell you that it was all fixed in a month or two, but sadly, it took years and years. And God did let me be in ministry, and he gave me a little bit more to be responsible over, a little bit more, and a little bit more. But it was not like some overnight, worldwide thing. I've been in ministry now, for over 40 years. I'm telling you about things that happened 40 years ago.
If you're gonna let God work with you, in your life, it's gonna take some time. But God has such good plans for you. Let him do what he wants to, and let him deal with any pride in your life, and bring you to a place of humility where your meek, and tender, and gentle, and you're quick to do whatever God asks you to do. You know, there are many leaders who become losers. I like that statement, "Leaders who become losers". You know why? Because sometimes when people get in a place of leadership where they have power, or authority over other people, they get full of themselves and they start to mistreat people, or they start to think that they can do things their way, and they don't have to listen to God anymore, and that's when people get in trouble.
And the Bible tells us about people like that. Saul fell, king Saul fell due to pride. It's a very interesting story about Saul. "Samuel said, 'although you once were small in your own eyes, did you not become the head of the tribe of Israel? And the Lord anointed you king over Israel'". He said, "When you were small in your own sight, God anointed you and made you king over Israel". But then, if we went to all the scriptures and read 'em, Saul disobeyed God so many times and did what God told him not to do, and it was because of his fear of man. He was always afraid of disappointing the people or losing the people, so he pleased people instead of God.
And then, there's a point, and this is so sad. God told the prophet, Samuel, "I regret that I made Saul king". You know what? I would never want God to say, "I regret that I let Joyce have that television ministry and be able to speak into so many people's lives". More than anything, we should want the approval of God in our lives. And in order to have that, we're gonna have to have humility in our lives and be willing to admit we're wrong, when we're wrong, whether that's before God or before man.
Nebuchadnezzar was another situation in the Bible where the guy started out really good and he ended up in such a mess. In Daniel, chapter 4, verse 1, it says, "King Nebuchadnezzar, to the nations and the people of every language, who live on the earth: may you prosper greatly. It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High has performed for me. How great are his signs, and how mighty are his wonders. And his kingdom is an eternal kingdom". And so, he's giving God the credit. "Oh, look at the great things God... God's done great things. Look what he's done for us". And he says, "I was at home in my palace, and contented and prosperous".
Well, as long as you're giving God all the credit for the good things that happened through you, then you will be contented and you can prosper. But 30 versus later, and I don't know how much that was in time, but, by the time we get down to verse 30, now, he's saying, "'is not this the great Babylon that I have built as my royal residence, by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty'"? Verse one he's giving God the credit, verse two he's contented and prosperous, verse 30, now, all of these great things are because of him. And God said, "This day the kingdom is ripped from your hands".
Well, here again, I don't have time to read you the whole thing, but Nebuchadnezzar ended up living like a wild animal, out in the fields, until he finally came to his right mind again. And he humbled himself and repented, and he said that God alone is mighty. And when someone's in pride, God can humble them and he can do whatever he pleases. And then, God restored his kingdom to him, and he was even better than he was before.
Thank God for his forgiveness. Thank God that when we behave stupidly, we can repent. And God will not only give us back what we lost, but even more than what we lost. That is the goodness of God. That's something we need to be excited about. And those of you who've made mistakes, like I've made mistakes, I hope that excites you today, to realize that you can be fully and completely restored. And God will, not only forgive you and restore what you've lost, but he will give you even more than what you lost. But we can't stay in pride. We must humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God.
The fifth point that I'll talk аbout: is a humble man always makes other people look good. He gives credit to others, where that credit is due. He does not have somebody else do all the work while he takes all the credit. That's a really strong point for any leader, because when you're a leader, you have a lot of people that help you get done, the things that you do. And you know, my name is up there, for the ministry, Joyce Meyer Ministries. But I can tell you, Joyce Meyer doesn't do it all herself.
There are so many hundreds of people that make this ministry work the way that it does and that help people: our phone operators, the people who answer the mail, the people who take care of the grounds here, at the ministry, and keep the building so beautiful. The people who keep the building clean, they're all so important. Our secretaries, our clerks, our accounting people, everybody makes it work, not just me. And I like to give them credit, and I openly, tell you that they deserve credit. So, when you pray for me, don't just pray for me, pray for all the people that work for me too. Because if they don't keep doing what they're doing, I can't keep doing what I'm doing.
Number six: a humble man happily, serves other people. Wow, he's a giver. He gives and he gives, and he gives. And he doesn't do it to be seen or to be well thought of, but he does it to serve God because he loves people. You know, Jesus washed his disciples feet. He humbled himself, he put on a servant's towel, and he knelt down and he washed their feet. And when he got to Peter, "Peter said, 'oh, no, Lord, you must never wash my feet. You can't do that'". And I love what Jesus said in verse 8. He said, "'Peter unless I wash you, you have no part with me'".
I love that scripture because you know what it's saying? If we don't do things for one another, then we really have no relationship. We need to do things for each other. And sometimes, it's going to be little, menial things that may not seem like big and important things, but God sees all those little things that we do. And so, then, of course, Peter said, "Well, then, just don't wash my feet, wash my head, and wash me all over", because he wanted that relationship with Jesus. And then, Jesus said, "I've done all this as an example to you that you might follow my example, and do what I have done".
So, Jesus wants us to be willing to wash feet. And it's not about getting a pan of water and actually, taking somebody's shoes off and washing their feet, there's a principle here that we need to be willing to do little things that maybe, would seem beneath us, but little things for other people that mean a lot to God. Are you helping people? What are you doing for people to make their lives better? I remember a girl that used to work for us. She doesn't anymore, but she wasn't a very happy person. She seemed to find something to complain about all the time. And honestly, everybody got pretty tired of it. One day I heard her talking about another employee and saying, "Do you know, she's lived in her apartment for two years, and she still doesn't have a mattress? She's sleeping on the floor".
Well, you know what? That woman could have easily afford to have bought that other woman a mattress. Or at the very least, she could have gotten several other employees together, and said, "Let's not leave her in that position, let's get her a mattress". You know, but a lot of times we pray for God to do things for people that we could easily do ourselves and just don't want to. And the Lord put it on my heart, a long time ago, he said, "Stop asking me to do things for people that you could do and just don't want to". God works through people. It never occurred to her to help the girl. And you know what? I think her unhappiness and her stinginess were directly connected. I believe the more we do for other people, the happier we will be.
A humble person is always very thankful, that's number seven. Very thankful. They thank people and they thank God. They appreciate every little thing that anybody does for them, and they say so. The Bible says, "Be thankful and say so". I love that. Wonder how many marriages would still be together, that have split up, just because people stop saying, "Thank you", and, "Please", and, "I appreciate you". You know, good manners go a long way in keeping relationships good.
Number eight: a humble person has a tender conscience and they are quick to repent. Whew, I like that, quick to repent. Don't make God deal with you, and deal with you, and deal with you, just be quick to repent. And also, when you do something you shouldn't to somebody else, be quick to go and ask them to forgive you. "I'm so sorry I hurt you. Will you forgive me"? You know, there's very few people that are gonna say, "No. I'm not gonna forgive you". Now, there may be a few, but there's not very many. Always be quick to apologize to somebody if you even, think you may have hurt their feelings.
Number nine: how we treat people is a clear manifestation of whether we're humble or proud. Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus said, "'come unto me all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. I will ease, relieve, and refresh your soul. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am humble, gentle, (meek) and (lowly)'". See that? He says, "Learn about me. I am humble, gentle, meek, and lowly". That's the way Jesus wants us to be: humble, gentle, meek, and lowly. "'for my yoke is wholesome (useful and good, it is not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing.)'" you know, Christlikeness is God's desire for us.
And I just realized that my 10-point message only has nine points. So, I guess I'll have to make it nine points on humility. See, I made a mistake and it's all still okay. You know what? Today, we're offering you a really good book that I think you will enjoy, "Making Good Habits, Breaking Bad Habits". Instead of focusing on the bad, focus on the good. And also, a coffee mug, tea, water, whatever you want to put in it, orange juice. It says, "Good morning. This is God. I'll be taking care of things today and I won't need your help". It's a good reminder, everyday, to depend on God and lean on him. Thank you for being with us today. And please get these resources so you can continue to grow in God. "And humble yourself under the mighty hand of God that in due time, he might exalt you". Thank you for being with us.