- Your divine call, my joy.
- Your Spirit, directs my steps
- You are my sure shelter (Psalm 46)
Your Word to me:
“With pride comes disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom.”
Living in a time where pride-of-ownership and self-esteem are touted and humility is generally perceived as a sign of weakness, I found it enlightening to look up the definition of humility this morning:
HUMILITY: FREEDOM from pride or arrogance;
the quality or state of being humble.*
In a world where the ideals of freedom are embraced yet where the notion of humility is mostly rejected, I found the definition thought provoking–emboldening me to think more deeply about the value of humility before God. The words of Peter lend valuable insight into God’s perspective on humility and how to approach it:
“Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another because,
‘God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble.’
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand,
that He may lift you up in due time.
Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”
I Peter 5:5b-7
What is interesting here is that humility does not come naturally (is not somehow conjured up) but is worn like a garment–“Clothe yourselves with humility. . .” –and that “garment” is nothing less than Christ Himself. Mention of this reminds me of another passage, one I have come to refer to as, God’s closet of virtues. In the passage, the Apostle Paul sets the stage by reminding the Colossians (as well as Believers today) of our standing before God:
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved,
clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Bear with each other and forgive one another . . . .
And over all these virtues put on love,
which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
Paul says we are “chosen . . . holy and dearly loved” by God–and are uniquely equipped to live out our lives in the love and wisdom of Jesus. When I read the passage, I can hear in my mind the dramatic rumbling of some closet doors off our bedroom as they are opened wide. Peering, into the closet, I can picture seven colorful robes in my mind. The robes represent the seven virtues mentioned in the passage—compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, forgiveness and, finally, love. Each robe represents the unique equipping available to God’s children facing every sort of trial.
As I ponder the robes hanging in that closet, it strikes me that I need to think more intentionally when I prepare for each day. Certainly I do that already, as I choose clothing most appropriate for accomplishing whatever task is on my calendar. I am heartened to realize that as an ambassador of Christ**, I/we have available to us the help needed to deal with whatever challenge we face. The question is:
Will I (will you) choose to put on humility rather than pride?
Will I (will you) demonstrate compassion instead of a haughty spirit?
Will we clothe ourselves with kindness rather than disdain . . . love over hatred?
Apart from Christ we are speaking of the impossible. However, as we are clothed in His humility and example of sacrifice, we are very likely to witness God at work in truly miraculous ways.
All to His Glory!
**“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” (II Corinthians 5:20-21)