Humility: Why It Matters
“Humility isn’t valued very highly today. But the Bible shows it’s not just a nice characteristic—it’s one that’s essential to please God.
Arrogance is certainly not among the most desirable characteristics in a person. People who are arrogant, full of themselves, and who deem themselves superior to others are so annoying. They’re condescending, selfish, egotistical and blind to the needs of others.
For many, the arrogance of others is an annoyance and source of frustration, but nothing more. Most would prefer that others not be arrogant, but society doesn’t really put a high value on its opposite—humility. The self-assured seem to succeed, while the humble get walked on.
A look at the Bible, however, shows that God places great emphasis on humility—and says some very condemning things about pride in all its forms.
God hates pride
“These six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him,” begins the list of things that God absolutely hates. They are not things that annoy God, His pet peeves or a few minor frustrations. This is the list of things that God will not tolerate. The first thing on this list is “a proud look” (Proverbs 6:16-17).
God does more than hate pride. Pride is so offensive that He actually “resists the proud,” while, in contrast, He “gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).
God also requires humility of those who choose to follow Him (Micah 6:8). It is on the humble one He will look, not the arrogant (Isaiah 66:2). The contrast is so strong that the Bible declares, “The LORD will destroy the house of the proud, but He will establish the boundary of the widow” (Proverbs 15:25). The possessions of the proud will be destroyed, while God will look after and protect the humble, such as widows.
Why are pride and humility such big deals to God?
Pride’s grand entrance
Humans generally see pride in others as an annoyance, but we have a hard time seeing it in ourselves. God sees pride for exactly what it is—a terrible instigator of evil.
The universe was originally ideal and full of peace. Everything was perfect. There was no strife, confusion, violence, evil or destruction.
Then things began to change. Gradually, one of God’s greatest angels started to think how great he was. The angel—the one often called Lucifer—began to think that he was even greater than God Himself. As his pride grew, he apparently corrupted a third of the other angels and staged a rebellion against the very God of heaven (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:11-19; Revelation 12:7-9). For more on how Lucifer became Satan, read “Satan: A Profile.”
Pride and the plan of God
To fully understand why God hates pride and esteems humility so much, it’s necessary to understand what God has planned for the human race. This physical life is not all there is—it’s a time to prepare for a limitless life dwelling in eternity.
Mankind was made with a purpose—the purpose of becoming sons and daughters of God Himself (2 Corinthians 6:18; Hebrews 2:10). Those who become children of God will be given awesome power.
That power can’t go to just anybody. God will only give it to those He trusts to use it wisely. If He gave that power to someone as arrogant as Satan, the potential for evil and destruction would be unimaginable.
It’s vital that we learn the lesson of humility now—in this physical life. Pride destroys, devastates and corrupts. It’s vital that we learn the lesson of humility now—in this physical life. Pride destroys, devastates and corrupts. No member of God’s family can possess pride. God doesn’t, and neither will His children.
For more on man’s purpose for life, read our article “Purpose of Life.”
God is superior to mankind in every way imaginable. In spite of this, God loves us enough to deal with us and, more amazing still, is willing to share all that He is and all that He has with us.
When Jesus Christ was on the earth, He revealed to us the very mind of the Father (John 5:19). The example that Christ set was one of humility (Luke 22:27; John 13:1-16). Christ’s willingness to become human and sacrifice Himself for His creation was the supreme act of love and humility (Philippians 2:5-7).
How pride destroys
Pride is an overinflated sense of self-worth, or thinking that we are greater than we actually are. Pride occurs when our perspective becomes so skewed that we think we are superior to those around us. It destroys relationships and is the opposite of godly love.
Pride causes us to forget that the nations are a drop in the bucket compared to God (Isaiah 40:15). Pride makes us think that we do not need God. As man elevates himself, God eventually gets shoved out of the picture entirely (Romans 1:18-25).
Thinking that we don’t need God is one of the biggest mistakes we can make. Satan—the arrogant being who started all of the evil we see in the world—is still “the ruler of this world” (John 14:30). His goal is the utter destruction of every single human being in existence. The only way that we can prevent him from achieving that goal is to “submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:7-8).
Pride’s ugly future
In the last days, before Christ’s return, pride will bring mankind to the brink of total destruction. The apostle Paul provided a list of the predominant characteristics that men and women will have in the end times, and it’s not a pretty list. The descriptions range from traitors to those without self-control to the haughty (2 Timothy 3:1-5).
These characteristics—including haughtiness or pride—will cause mankind to defy God. When He causes plagues to strike the earth for the purpose of bringing mankind to repentance, many will be too arrogant to turn to Him. They will grow angry and blaspheme God instead of humbly bending to His will (Revelation 16:9, 11, 21).
In the end, prideful men will be humbled, and Satan will be put away.
In the meantime, it is up to us to destroy the pride in our lives and develop the humility that was in the mind of Christ. If we are to be exalted as members of the family of God, then we must humble ourselves now (Luke 14:11). Humility matters that much.” From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/life/christian-living/humility/
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.
Solomon’s writings repeatedly encourage diligence and hard work as necessary ingredients of success. (For more on this, see our article “How to Be Successful.”) Here the wise king adds the perspective that this life is short, and so we must apply our full efforts now. This passage may have been on the apostle Paul’s mind when he wrote, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men” (Colossians 3:23).
Many churches dispute Solomon’s assertion that “the dead know nothing” (Ecclesiastes 9:5) and that there is no knowledge or wisdom in the grave. The common teaching is that man has an immortal soul. But is this what the Bible teaches? For more on this, see our article “Immortal Soul.” From: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/blog/do-it-with-your-might/
Can We Eat To Starve Cancer?Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Li may be referring, watch the above video. “So why should we care about blood vessels? Well, the human body is literally packed with them -- 60,000 miles worth in a typical adult. End to end, that would form a line that would circle the earth twice. The smallest blood vessels are called capillaries. We've got 19 billion of them in our bodies. And these are the vessels of life, and as I'll show you, they can also be the vessels of death. Now, the remarkable thing about blood vessels is that they have this ability to adapt to whatever environment they're growing in. For example, in the liver, they form channels to detoxify the blood; in the lungs, they line air sacs for gas exchange. In muscle, they corkscrew, so that muscles can contract without cutting off circulation. And in nerves, they course along like power lines, keeping those nerves alive.
We get most of these blood vessels when we're actually still in the womb. And what that means is that as adults, blood vessels don't normally grow. Except in a few special circumstances. In women, blood vessels grow every month, to build the lining of the uterus. During pregnancy, they form the placenta, which connects mom and baby. And after injury, blood vessels actually have to grow under the scab in order to heal a wound. And this is actually what it looks like, hundreds of blood vessels, all growing toward the center of the wound.
So the body has the ability to regulate the amount of blood vessels that are present at any given time. It does this through an elaborate and elegant system of checks and balances, stimulators and inhibitors of angiogenesis, such that, when we need a brief burst of blood vessels, the body can do this by releasing stimulators, proteins called angiogenic factors, that act as natural fertilizer, and stimulate new blood vessels to sprout. When those excess vessels are no longer needed, the body prunes them back to baseline, using naturally-occurring inhibitors of angiogenesis. There are other situations where we start beneath the baseline, and we need to grow more blood vessels, just to get back to normal levels -- for example, after an injury -- and the body can do that too, but only to that normal level, that set point.
But what we now know, is that for a number of diseases, there are defects in the system, where the body can't prune back extra blood vessels, or can't grow enough new ones in the right place at the right time. And in these situations, angiogenesis is out of balance. And when angiogenesis is out of balance, a myriad of diseases result. For example, insufficient angiogenesis -- not enough blood vessels -- leads to wounds that don't heal, heart attacks, legs without circulation, death from stroke, nerve damage. And on the other end, excessive angiogenesis -- too many blood vessels -- drives disease, and we see this in cancer, blindness, arthritis, obesity, Alzheimer's disease. In total, there are more than 70 major diseases affecting more than a billion people worldwide, that all look on the surface to be different from one another, but all actually share abnormal angiogenesis as their common denominator. And this realization is allowing us to re-conceptualize the way that we actually approach these diseases, by controlling angiogenesis.
Now, I'm going to focus on cancer, because angiogenesis is a hallmark of cancer -- every type of cancer. So here we go. This is a tumor: dark, gray, ominous mass growing inside a brain. And under the microscope, you can see hundreds of these brown-stained blood vessels, capillaries that are feeding cancer cells, bringing oxygen and nutrients. But cancers don't start out like this, and in fact, cancers don't start out with a blood supply. They start out as small, microscopic nests of cells, that can only grow to one half a cubic millimeter in size. That's the tip of a ballpoint pen. Then they can't get any larger because they don't have a blood supply, so they don't have enough oxygen or nutrients.
In fact, we're probably forming these microscopic cancers all the time in our body. Autopsy studies from people who died in car accidents have shown that about 40 percent of women between the ages of 40 and 50 actually have microscopic cancers in their breasts. About 50 percent of men in their 50s and 60s have microscopic prostate cancers, and virtually 100 percent of us, by the time we reach our 70s, will have microscopic cancers growing in our thyroid. Yet, without a blood supply, most of these cancers will never become dangerous. Dr. Judah Folkman, who was my mentor and who was the pioneer of the angiogenesis field, once called this "cancer without disease."
So the body's ability to balance angiogenesis, when it's working properly, prevents blood vessels from feeding cancers. And this turns out to be one of our most important defense mechanisms against cancer. In fact, if you actually block angiogenesis and prevent blood vessels from ever reaching cancer cells, tumors simply can't grow up. But once angiogenesis occurs, cancers can grow exponentially. And this is actually how a cancer goes from being harmless, to being deadly. Cancer cells mutate, and they gain the ability to release lots of those angiogenic factors, natural fertilizer, that tip the balance in favor of blood vessels invading the cancer. And once those vessels invade the cancer, it can expand, it can invade local tissues, and the same vessels that are feeding tumors allow cancer cells to exit into the circulation as metastases. And unfortunately, this late stage of cancer is the one at which it's most likely to be diagnosed, when angiogenesis is already turned on, and cancer cells are growing like wild.
So to look for a way to prevent angiogenesis in cancer, I went back to look at cancer's causes. And what really intrigued me, was when I saw that diet accounts for 30 to 35 percent of environmentally-caused cancers. Now the obvious thing is to think about what we could remove from our diet, what to strip out, take away. But I actually took a completely opposite approach, and began asking: What could we be adding to our diet that's naturally antiangiogenic, and that could boost the body's defense system, and beat back those blood vessels that are feeding cancers? In other words, can we eat to starve cancer?”