68 Humility IIPosted: July 18, 2013
I have much more to say on humility and consider it such an important topic that I decided to write a second blog on it.
So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full….But when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full….When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. Matthew 6:2, 6 & 16
Humility includes being selfless and not looking for an earthly reward. By seeking earthly rewards we strive to build ourselves up, promoting our positions and interests, looking for our agenda to be done. True servanthood looks for God’s will to be done. Even Jesus prayed, “Yet not as I will, but as You will.” (Matthew 26:39)
Of course we are selfish by nature. That’s a part of being human! And expecting ourselves to rid ourselves of selfishness is perfectionistic! We are not able to make ourselves humble any more than we are able to make ourselves perfect. If we were able to make ourselves humble, then we would really have something to brag about! Rather, in placing ourselves under God’s mighty hand we allow Him to humble us. Hear me out on this. I know that I Peter 5:6 says, “Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God,” but God’s humbling of us is a process. First, we need to realize how truly proud we are. Our perfectionism belies our pride. This is much easier for others to see about us than it is for us to see about ourselves.
The next thing we need to do is to let go of our pride. We don’t want to. We want to hold on to it for dear life, as if it is who we are. Know this, our true self is in Christ. Our identity is not found in our pride, but rather in Christ. Only God gets to define us, to decide who we are. In our pride we try to define ourselves as better than others, more deserving, better at following Christ, super-spiritual, etc. We do so because we are still trying to prove ourselves worthy and this we can never do. Our righteousness is in the blood of Jesus Christ, alone. That is what the stories in the Bible are telling us. God gets the glory, we are the goofs. As long as we try to make ourselves right, we reject the blood of Jesus. Jesus died so that we could be right, pure and holy—before the Father. When God our Father looks at us, He sees us through the blood of Jesus. (II Corinthians 2:14-15, Ephesians 1:7) We, however, try to improve on that image even. There is no improving on the blood of Christ. We need to imitate Him and that imitation is based in humility rather than pride. We do not make ourselves brothers of Jesus; rather, we receive our new identity of being His brothers as a gift from God.
Humility is powerful. When we are truly humble, we are equipped to resist the devil. (I Peter 5:6-9) Finally, we need humility not only to be able to rebuke the enemy, but more than that to receive God’s love, to draw near to Him.
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*From William Barclay, New Testament Words, p. 53. The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, copyright 1964