Humiliation Is a Choice!

Humiliation Is a Choice!

By Pastor Patrick Badstibner

There the man stood, quite confident in himself. WHY, shouldn’t he be?  He had won all sorts of awards, recognition, notoriety across the United States.

His peers not only came to him for advice, but they took camera shots of His work and used  them for their advertising. He discovered this one day while browsing through a national magazine, depicting lifestyles, fashions, homes and designs of the wealthy when all of a sudden he saw an all too familiar image. So, why should he not be confident in himself, his abilities, his accomplishments, his reputation.

Yet, today he would encounter something that would forever change the direction of His company and change himself. He had begun working for a new customer. This new customer wanted to meet with the man at his home that evening after work, for an evaluation.

The man confident in his team’s work, felt for sure he was going to hear more of what he heard so often, praise. The customer had something else completely different in mind.

Instead of holding a megaphone waiting to shout praises. The customer was holding an axe waiting to chop down through the power of his words the tall tree of self-confidence that had grown in the man.  

Expecting praise, the man wound up feeling humiliated.

A Choice!

With most humiliation, it is often the case (not always) that someone has made us feel that we do not measure up. We are not good enough! We are less than we thought, we felt we were, something or someone we value is not good enough or right.

Yet, something else should be recognized humiliation is a choice based on a lie. WAIT A minute, you say! What about when someone is abusive, belittling, uses harsh words, foul language, That was their choice and they are responsible for their choice. NOT YOU!

Defining The Word!

It comes from the latin word humilis. “Which literally means reducing to dirt”

When we consider that most of the time when we chose to be humiliated, we consider it a direct attack on our persons. As we experience deep feelings of losing face, feeling foolish, hurt and indignity. Feeling reduced to dirt at the hands of another, would be an accurate description in most cases.  

The Choice Results In

Usually what happens is that something about us, we think has been personally insulted. Which hits us in our ego or our identity or how we view ourselves. Often, this results in us entertaining thoughts of forming, stewing and dwelling in how we should we respond and always angrily.  

Sometimes the result is instant, other times it just sits and festers as we dwell on the situation and the person in a negative light. YES! I know that last sentence brings up a whole host of other wrong choices that lead usually to other sins.

The Lie

As mentioned humiliation is a choice based on a lie. Now you’re waiting to hear what the lie is, only problem I don’t know what your specific lie is.

What we believe about ourselves, base our self-image on, how we define ourselves, what makes us feel valuable or worth something is as varied as the personalities that drive those lies. However, we can group them into one general misunderstanding or lie.

The misunderstanding or lie being whatever we build the image of ourselves, our value and worth on that is apart from God. Meaning instead of believing that we are valuable to God, deeply treasured by Him and the bride of Christ, we have chosen to believe something else.Which is always founded in a lie, for only God is truth.

God The Great Instigator!

WOW! God an instigator, hard to imagine that, right! Surely God loves us and only wants the best for us!  For those who might struggle with this take time and study the following verses and notice the things God is doing.1 Samuel 2:6, 1 Chronicles 29:11-12, Job 12:23, Job 42:2, Psalm 115:3, Isaiah 46:9-10, Ecclesiastes 7:13-14, Isaiah 45:7, Daniel 2:21, Acts 17:24-28.

Notice that God is killing and bringing to life, makes nations great and destroys them, brings adversity and prosperity so that all may know He is God. He creates well-being and calamity. Removes and takes down kings. Finally He  gives life and death to all of mankind. How can we not say that God controls all molecules.

The verses that blow me away are Ecclesiastes 7:13-14. Imagine God is making crooked what is straight. What in the world? Why is God mucking up what appears to be normal.

I think we find that answer in in John 16:8. Which says, “When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment:”

The Holy Spirit At Work

Now think about that, when the Holy Spirit comes He will not only teach what is right but prove what is wrong about what the world believes about sin, righteousness and judgement. In other words he will show us what we don’t consider as sin…is sin.

The Holy Spirit will teach us that those we consider righteous and what we consider righteousness is not righteousness at all.  Finally he will show us what real judgement is.   

This is where the Holy Spirit starts with us. As He begins to open our eyes to what God’s law is. The more we understand God’s law as representing God and His character the more we begin to realize our warped view of sin, righteousness and judgement.

So normally when we feel humiliated we blame-shift, we justify our reactions and place all the blame on the other party. The Holy Spirit begins to show us that God has indeed instigated something in order to show us deeper truth.  

How God Uses Humiliation.

What is that deeper truth? That the very thing we are building our worth and value on is based on a lie. So God allows the humiliation in order for us to feel the pain that often comes from God’s pruning.

As he rips something that we are defining ourselves with away from us, out from under us, we experience deep anguish. He does this in order to move us to a point where we realize that very thing is what is keeping us from living this life we have been called to (Romans 8:38).  

For it is always God’s purpose as he makes us Christlike to remove those things that are keeping us from Him.  In experiencing the pain  of being humiliated, God allows us to see that this is an area of pride for us.

We Have All We Need!

If we have everything we need to live as we were designed to live (2 Peter 1:3), what is keeping us from relying on God’s grace to be exactly who we were designed to be? Why do we end up being more often than not the unprofitable ones and the ones who have forgotten their sins are forgiven that Peter speaks of in verse 2 Peter 1: 8,9?

James 4:6, gives us our answer “But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”” Thus why God always starts with our pride.

Where  are our biggest pride areas found? They are always found in those things we define ourselves by. Thus why often we suffer attacks of humiliation

In Those Times

The Holy Spirit points us to both the lie and the truth. What is the truth?

The attacks, words, actions of others no longer needs to cause us to feel  we are not valuable, worthy or less than.  Because of Christ, God no longer holds any accusations against us and if He does not no-one else, including ourselves, matters. It no longer matters what anyone else says, what they think or how they feel about us. (Romans 8:31, 33). There is no more condemning or shame (Romans 8:1, 34) for those who are called the apple of God’s eye (Psalms 17:8). For we truly are the bride of Christ. Nothing can separate us now from God’s love (Romans 8:38) and we are one of God’s excellent ones in whom He delights (Psalms 16:3)..

So the next time you are in what one might consider a humiliating situation. Remember we really do have a choice. We do not need to lash out verbally or physically or mentally, we no longer need to defend what is a lie.  

Since we no longer need to defend the lie, we no longer need to blame shift on the other person for our choice to be humiliated. Nor do we need to justify our actions when we respond believing the lie.  

The key lie we must choose to walk away from always revolves around our need to be somebody or the myth of thinking that we are indeed somebody. Instead we can now accept that we are indeed nobodies (Galatians 6:3), who no longer need to defend ourselves.

For in Christ we are the delight of the Almighty, have been given the privilege of crying out Abba Father (Romans 8:15) and are passionately loved (Romans 9:25). That is the real somebody and that is given, cannot be taken away, nor can we be made to feel humiliated about it.     

What more does one Need!

“If the fact that the Almighty God of the universe is deeply in love with you, does not go to your head, there is indeed something wrong with you.” – Steve Brown

“Knowing how deeply God loves you may indeed get you accused of not painting the walls “God is dead!” but rather of sniffing the paint.” – Walking In God’s Grace – Practical answers To Tough Questions.

Walking in God’s Grace: Practical Answers to Tough Questions is now available at the following locations – Energion  Amazon  Barnes & Noble

Photo credit: Rafa from Brazil / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Pastor Pat lives in South Carolina with his wonderful wife Becky and has two grown daughters Jessica and Michaela. He retired as a nationally acclaimed award-winning landscape architect and landscape designer.

After a series of Job like trials that a pastor friend once said When people say they dont believe in Job, he replies, are YOU kidding me I know him personally.

Now he serves as the Executive Pastor of World Prayr which he considers to be his true calling to leadership..



World Prayr has chosen to be different, starting with teaching others that the pilgrimage all those who have been brought near to God are on is not one about our focusing on what we are doing, or focusing on our sin or anything we are not doing, but focusing on what Christ did in order for us to know transforming grace. We refer to this message as the gospel of grace. We then live this out as a ministry by serving others through counseling, prayer, and sound biblical teachings.

We also differ from most ministries in another key area, working to live out the message of Philippians 2:4 by aggressively promoting other ministries and churches. As a mission team, World Prayr is working to serve those who are disconnected to reconnect them, one soul at a time, to local bodies of believers.

We refer to our team as an “Ohana” made up of many nationalities spread across the globe and within the Protestant faith.

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2 Replies to “Humiliation Is a Choice!”

  1. yep…it can be humiliating and humbling when we hit our thumbs with that hammer, can’t it? Good read Pat!

  2. Hi Pat,

    Thanks for a terrific article. (Just don’t let it go to your head!!) (Just joking.)

    I think the reason people reject Christianity is that the bar is set so low that it is felt to be too high. We want to do some great, heroic deed, to prove we are something. Jesus asks us to abandon all those pretensions.

    And, frankly, that “low” bar is too high for us most of the time. We want to wash the feet of Jesus instead of letting him wash our feet.

    It is unbelievably hard to be humble. We need to grace of God.



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