Focal Passage: Esther 5:1-14
Esther 5 provides a great contrast. In humility, Esther approached the king. In pride, Haman left the king’s presence. In humility, Esther asked for an opportunity to serve the king. In pride, Haman detailed his riches, wealth and prestige.
In humility, Esther honored the king, “If I have found favor,” and “if it please the king.” In pride, Haman built gallows to hang Mordecai.
While Esther recognized the immensity of her responsibility, she carried herself with humility and submission. It has been said, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” This chapter illustrates that truth.
Esther knew her role, but in humility put the authority in the king’s hand. Haman could not stop thinking about himself, his wealth, his pride and his prestige. Everything was about him.
To be quite frank with you, most of our conflicts arise when we act like Haman and not like Esther.
Consider church conflict: when a church experiences conflict, it is often because someone did not get his or her way.
The need to have your way is pride. Pride says, “I need to be right. My idea is the best. If I don’t get my way, I’m going to leave.” Humility is vastly different.
Humility solves conflicts often by putting others first. Humility often gives in and it always gives away credit. Humility says, “It doesn’t matter if I’m right as long as God is glorified. The Kingdom of God matters, not my recognition.”
Notice though that humility does not mean silence or self-abasement. Esther took action. Esther spoke to the king. Esther took the initiative. Esther would even propose a solution.
But her motivation was not pride or self-affirmation. Rather, her motivation was the rescue of her people.
The genuinely humble person is willing to stand out for the benefit of others. A few hundred years later, Jesus stood out on our behalf by hanging in humility between heaven and earth.