Humility

If there is one thing that is in short supply in the twenty-first century world we live in it is probably humility. Hear me out first. Scripture is clear: God hates the proud and will bring them down (Pro. 16:5; James 4:6). Our culture; unfortunately, has fallen in love with the proud and arrogant. In business, politics, art, sports, education, journalism, religion, Christianity, and several other professions our culture celebrates not only accomplishments (and there is nothing wrong with celebrating accomplishments), but also those who are proud and arrogant about their achievements. It is simple God hates the proud and arrogant; our culture celebrates pride and arrogance. Regardless of what God says about proud and arrogant people our postmodern post Christian culture has fallen in love with those who harbor an exaggerated view of themselves and their achievements.

The sad thing about pride and arrogance is that it is very much present in the church. In the church it is no longer common wisdom “He must become greater; I must become less, (John 3:30). Now in the church it is we must use Christ to increase our fame. Even Christian ministries are built around “I, me, mine, my, and myself.” The number one reason we have fallen victims of pride is the desire to project self not the Savior.

The cure of pride is humility and humility comes when we are honest about who we really are. Barry writes, “We need an honest appraisal of ourselves; or as Paul says, we ought “not to think of [ourselves] more highly than [we] ought to think” (Rom 12:3). The Phillips translation of this verse makes the point even clearer: “Don’t cherish exaggerated ideas of yourself, or your importance.”[1] Or as Lloyd puts it “Humility is essentially a true view of oneself, expressing itself in attitude and conduct with respect to others . . . The man who is truly humble is the one who is truly amazed that God and man can think of him as well as they do and treat him as well as they do.”[2]

There seems to be a flight from humility because society has misunderstood it. Humility is not spineless, lack of courage and strength, or weakness; rather, those who are humble have become like a horse so trained even “a young child can ride it and cause it to move in precise ways at precise times with only the slightest tug of a rein. However, at no time has the horse lost its inner power or strength to run, carry a heavy load, or rear its body against its enemies. The person who is truly “humble” by God, and who bears God’s likeness of humility, is a person who is easily directed by God and bears a gentleness of outward demeanor, while at the same time continues to bear great spiritual strength.”[3] That my brothers and sisters is the beauty of humility the world and the church are in short supply of. Pray with me for more humble people in the church.



[1]John D. Barry et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2012).

 

[2]Lloyd Martin Jones, God’s Treasury of Virtues, (Tulsa: Oklahoma, 1984)

[3]Ibid., Lloyd.