I have long agreed with God’s definitions, descriptions and proposals about humility, and have evidence of that agreement in something I wrote on September 13, 1983:
Humility that’s asked by you, O Christ of Galilee, is that which faces you in light and knows that you can see the brokeness, the failures, the sin, the faults, the pain~~and, seeing all of that, you still would die and live for me again.
Such humility transforms from self and pride to grace; changes “perfect plans” to resting as I run the race; takes my eyes from my own pain to seek the comfort of your face;
stops the frequent selfish tears and heals the broken heart; looks first upon the angry blot and then discerns it’s been forgot; and then it walks in gentle love in the grateful servant’s lot.
So while I agree with the class syllabus, journal notes dated 2010 indicate that the lab work goes on. That’s ok, though, since I have an excellent instructor. (Psalm 25:8 says He is willing to instruct sinners. There are many other Scriptures about the willingness of God to teach, instruct, inform, correct and tweak us, but this one is my favorite because it removes all the false-modesty excuses that might suggest themselves as reasons that I don’t qualify for His tutoring or shouldn’t bother Him.) So…some 2010 notes:
Pride will not be much of a struggle if I realize I truly don’t have anything to be proud about.
Humility and the grace that flows with it will make realistic evaluation of limitations less complicated. That’s happily practical, because recognition of both genuine and false boundaries will come sooner. Thus I am spared the excesses of my busy pride as well as the recovery that’s required in the aftermath of such foolish excess.
Humility proceeding from direct contact with reality doesn’t require much effort~~only honesty.
Fear and pride are easy-to-use tools with which to resist humility, and they do have this going for them: they get the job done. Pride works to prevent exposure and fear works to flee exposure. One major problem with either of them is that they demand endless attention and are an energy drain at all levels. And of course, the biggest problem is that they really do work, and thus effectively delay the good things that follow humility.
When Jesus discusses the contrasting motives of those who come to the light vs. those who don’t (in John 3:20, 21) this whole dynamic of humility vs. pride/fear is in the mix. Those who come “so their good deeds can be seen as being done in God” are doing so in humility, not in pride. Those who refuse to come are heavily invested in unhumility~~ preventing exposure or fleeing exposure.
So~~fear and pride “get the job done,” the job of obstructing humility. The question is, Is that really what I want to do?
Here’s a lie for you: “Humility should be resisted.”
The lie comes in a thousand different ways, detailed or general, small or large, presenting itself as a great swaggering beast (or a simpering socialite) offering to give me everything and leaving me with nothing.
Humility is a place for receiving grace. Humility (which, after all, is just me acknowledging reality) qualifies me for God’s promised attention, His perfect peace.
A sub-point: there’s nothing inherently humble about fear of other people. The Spirit of God does not need to use fear of man in order to work in the life of one who fears God.
He Doesn’t Quench The Smoking Flax (also from 1983)
Psalm 77:2 “When I was in distress, I sought the Lord…”
My Lord, it’s very silent back here in the forest.
I bow here shivering in the snow. It’s so quiet and so cold. But you are the God of the cold and the quiet.
Do you see in the way ahead a place where you can take pleasure in me? Dance over me with joy? Be glad because of what your grace has done for me?
Zephaniah 3:17: The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you in His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.