Thursday, May 29, 2014

Grace for the Humble

I'm not a humble person. In fact, pride is a sin that I daily have to crucify. I hate my pride and its many manifestations in my life. And I want desperately to be humble, to possess humility. Because pride is an affront to the truth of the gospel, God delights in answering prayers that ask for more humility. It is in our humbling that we see our desperate need for Christ. I think that is why Peter reminds his readers, and us, that "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble" (1 Peter 5:5).

The Bible talks a lot about pride and humility, from direct commands like 1 Peter 5 to giving us flesh and blood examples like Moses, David, Solomon, Absalom, and others. The most vivid picture of humility is found in our Christ, who Paul says "humbled himself to death" (Phil. 2:8). He embodied humility perfectly. The Bible often talks about our posture before him, which should be none other than utmost humility and fear, and we see consequences for those who do otherwise (2 Chron. 33:23). Jesus tells us that if we humble ourselves we will actually be exalted, but if we act in pride we will be brought low (Matt. 23:13, Luke 14:11). Humility is an often commanded, difficult to make happen, heart condition for the Christian.

But God does not leave us to our own prideful hearts.

Daniel often reminds us of the verse from 1 Peter, that God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble. In moments of deep humbling it is a mercy to reflect on the fact that God is humbling us because he loves us. To stay in our pride is to be the recipient of his opposition. To be humbled is to receive his grace. So when I am confronted with my sin against my husband or family member, make an embarrassing mistake that many people see, or dealing with a toddler tantrum in a public place, it is helpful to remember that these moments of humbling are not evidences of God's abandonment. They are in fact the exact opposite. They are reminders of his kindness towards me. God will have no spoiled children. He will have no self-sufficient children either. It is only when I'm on my face in humility that I can truly stand in his presence.

I want to be humble. It's a scary prayer to say out loud "Lord, make me humble," because we never know what it will take. I know it takes a lot to humble me, but I want to receive it as a mercy from his loving hand. He wants me humble so he can give me more grace. He wants me humble so I will worship him with an undivided heart. So I pray, Lord, make me humble.

1 comment:

Emily said...

Lord, make me humble - what a wonderful prayer for me to utter today. Here I am thinking, "Courtney IS humble!" but isn't your case the exact mark of true humility? Someone who produces a teachable spirit, willing to be corrected, not boasting their own ability but in the gospel. Amen!