Fearing Humility

There was a song Mac Davis sang back in the 70s that went something like this…

Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble… when you’re perfect in every way!  I can’t wait to look in the mirror… cause I get better looking each day!   To know me is to love me… I must be a (whale) of a man!  Oh Lord it’s hard to be humble… but I’m doing the best that I can!

Humility… if you think you have it, you don’t.  Humility… a character trait to be sought along with holiness.  Humility… probably the most illusive trait in the Christian life.  Humility… feared by some, ignored by most, required as a follower of Christ.  Humility… we have a choice, either be humble or be humbled… be humble or be humiliated to learn humility.  Humility… if you’re afraid of it, you probably need to be more humble.  Being Humble… more important than believing right doctrine and having great Bible knowledge.

Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less.  Read that again.  A humble person won’t poor mouth themselves to others nor will they have a low self-esteem or lack confidence.  They just don’t have to be the center of attention.  They don’t have to be #1 all the time.  They don’t have to be recognized as the top dog calling the ball in everything.  But in every one of us there is pride lurking in the background… underneath… crouching at the door.  Consider Genesis 4:6-7,

The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7  If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door.  Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”

What are we capable of doing at any given moment?  Is there a sin we think we are beyond committing?  If there is something we think is impossible for us to do, consider 1 Cor 10:12… “Let him who stands take heed lest he fall.”  Truth is  I do not know myself well because… “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” ( Jeremiah 17:9).  What those two passages remind me of is just how easy it is to fail… to fall… to sin… egregiously so… in the blink of an eye.  That possibility scares and frightens me more than you know. 

But take heart!  There IS hope!  Consider the following…

Romans 8:29 For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son (Note: This means God will make SURE {predestine} you will be conformed to the image of Christ.  Thus in this context, you and I WILL learn humility!).

Philippians 2:12 Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Which by the way is conformity to the image of Christ… thus Ro 8:29 above).

Now… since I know God is in the process of conforming me (And all believers) into the image of Christ, He will work on the areas of our lives that need to be destroyed so that we become more like Christ.  However, God doesn’t so much give us humility as He teaches us to be humble.  He does the same thing with patience.  I wish it were different, but it’s not. 

So to draw this post to a close I ask you to consider that God is in the process of teaching you and I to be more like Christ… to increase our humility.  What He’s doing in your life may not be the same as in mine.  But we both need to be praying for each other.  Being conformed to the image of Christ is painful because it goes against our nature.  Eventually however comes the peaceful fruit of righteousness.  Trust God… be patient with others and yourself.

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