In doing seminars and itinerate speaking, I meet a lot of people. But over a period of time, I tend to forget their names. So when I meet up with them again, I often have to humble myself and say, “I’m sorry. I have forgotten your name.”
Humbling yourself is not always easy, but sometimes you have to do it anyway. Actually, I have noticed that most people appreciate humility, and they usually respond in a gracious manner. You should know that God appreciates humility, too! In 2 Chronicles 7:14 God says, “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” You see, God wants His people to humble themselves before Him.
The word “humble” is a Hebrew verb that literally means “to bend the knee.” It has the sense of being subdued and brought down low. Now, the reason Israel’s land needed to be healed was because God had allowed adverse circumstances to come upon the land. And the reason God allowed them to experience hardship was to humble them and bring them low so that they would acknowledge their sin and turn to God.
Well, God often allows hardship to come into our lives for the same reason. It helps us to see that we are going in the wrong direction and that we need to turn from our sinful ways. Hardship humbles us and helps us to see that we are being foolish in what we are doing; and it gets our attention and wakes us up.
So if we will allow God’s chastising work to humble us and cause us to turn to God in prayer, then He will be merciful and turn the tide of hardship into blessing. Instead of things continuing to spiral downward, they will begin to result in glorifying God. God will hear from heaven and bring healing. It all begins when we humble ourselves.
Now you know the real meaning of the word.
So remember, being humbled sometimes is not a pleasant experience, but it leads to very pleasant results.