The Choice of Humility
As C.J. Mahaney states in his book Humility – True Greatness, ”Humility is honestly assessing ourselves in the light of God’s holiness and our sinfulness. That’s the twin reality that all genuine humility is rooted in: God’s holiness and our sinfulness. Without an honest awareness of both these realities, all self-evaluation will be skewed and we will fail to either understand or practice true humility. We will miss out on experiencing the promise and the pleasures that humility offers.” What a powerful truth. I don’t want to miss out on any of those promises and pleasures offered by a truly humble heart. Our true size is only revealed as we stand at the foot of the cross and understand the goodness of our God. There is where humility begins.
Another book I read, years ago, was the book Humility by Andrew Murray. He suggests that of all the things a Christian could do to be conformed to the image of Christ, we should seek humility because therein lies the truth. We must realize that we could not, of our own accord, even produce our own next breath. We are totally dependent on a living God who sustains us for His greater glory through our lives. Just as John 15:5 NIV states “I am the vine; you are the branches...apart from me you can do nothing”. How proud can we be of our ability to do nothing? True humility agrees with God’s Word.
“The nearer the soul comes to God, the more His majestic Presence makes it feel its littleness.” And “the more a man dies to himself, the more he begins to live unto God.” Andrew Murray
The world defines humility as a lowering of oneself in relation to others, a state or the act of being humble, a freedom of pride and arrogance, and having a modest opinion or estimate of one’s own worth. True humility, however, is not groveling in front of others, being a doormat, or is it a sign of weakness. Moses was said to be the meekest man on earth (Numb 12:3) but meekness is not weakness; it’s actually strength that is under control. The fact is that “...God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6 NASB).
In reality, until a person humbles themselves, they can never receive the grace of God which is a gift that He only gives to those who are of a humble and contrite nature. The book of Isaiah states “this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word” (66:2 ESV) and that “I live in a high and holy place, but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite” (57:15 NIV). So we see that it is in the person’s best interest to humble himself, as humility draws the gaze of our Sovereign God.
Whoever is humble is teachable. Humble people are also more likely to learn, to serve, and to not think too highly of themselves. God cannot fill people who are already full of themselves.
Seeking humility may not be the easiest thing to do, but it is definitely where truth lies. I have found a freedom in the real understanding of the concept of humility. It takes the load off one’s shoulders and brings a grace for greater glory in your life.
Are you strong enough to be humble enough to walk in the truth? It takes wisdom and understanding to clothe yourself in humility and service.
Lord teach me Your ways of humility in truth. Save me from myself and help me keep You on the throne of my heart.