Our team is a group of talented and determined men, focused on one goal for the season, and yet we know we need to walk in humility and community in order to gain any success both individually and as a team. But what does it mean to walk in humility instead of pride?
It’s easy to have a lot of pride, especially in the NFL. The more challenging and meaningful way to live is to submit yourself to the work of the Lord, trusting in the One who is in complete control of all things. The men within our team Bible study have committed to pursue an attitude of humility — humbling ourselves enough to find out what God’s Word is teaching us.
As we discover the true path Scripture guides us toward, we choose to walk in it! We aren’t only called to learn about God’s plan; we’re made to carry it out on a daily basis. Obedience to God is one of the greatest litmus tests of humility, because it reflects a heart that is joyfully and willingly yielded to the authority and instruction of the Lord. Obedience reflects trust and dependence on God over trust and dependence on self. Continually drawing near to God and His Word allows us to serve others better, submit to His will, and care less about what other people think of us.
“Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.” — Proverbs 18:12
Where pride is, there is no room for humility. Our hearts cannot contain both.
Joseph, a man of great humility, is a great example of this type of condition-less obedience. Though everyone knew this young man was his father’s favorite (the colorful coat gave it away pretty easily), he didn’t shove it in his brothers’ faces. Knowing his brothers hated him for it, he still obeyed his father and served him in the work he was asked to do. Even when his brother sold him into slavery, Joseph was obedient to God. He was even faithful to the Lord while in jail! And when his former jail mates forgot about him, Joseph trusted God. Soon God elevated him, putting him a position above everyone else — he was second to the king! Yet Joseph did not become prideful nor haughty; instead he humbly served the kingdom. When his brothers assumed he would want to kill them for what they had done, he not only forgave them, but offered them the best of what he had to offer.
Joseph’s humility came before his honor. If he had allowed pride to take root in his heart, he never would have been able to be used by God in these incredible ways.
There have been many times in my own life where I’ve allowed pride to get in the way. It’s very easy to want my own glory instead of God’s. But I’m thankful He’s always ready to humble me and bring me back to the point of recognizing His worthiness. When I’m home, I want God to gain all the glory. When I’m on the field, it’s His name that I want to be elevated. Wherever I am and whatever I do, I pray I would always be humble enough to bring honor to God’s name above all else.
There’s great freedom and assurance in knowing that God is in control. Placing our confidence and trust in Him will bring glory to His name — the only One who is worthy of all praise.
— Demario Davis
Demario Davis is a linebacker with the New York Jets and a regular contributor to The Increase. He provides monthly articles and opinions.