the face of humility

The one who is truly humble knows they are proud, and as C. S. Lewis noted, the one who thinks they are not proud is truly proud. Humility in part realizes with eyes unblinking that we fall short of the mark, the mark being Jesus himself. Yet as important as that is, since we are sinners and in continued need to confess sins (in things we have done and failed to do), there is more to be said on humility. After all, Jesus himself who was without sin, said that he was gentle and humble. And it is said elsewhere that he humbled himself both in becoming human, and in being obedient to the point of dying the dreaded death of the cross.

Humility involves taking one’s proper place in God’s will, whatever that might be, and fulfilling it well. Within that there can be questions and appeals to God in prayer. But one makes the most of both seeking to perceive and live in God’s will in and through God’s grace in Jesus and by the Spirit. Humility also involves the full realization that everything is a gift, that whatever good might be found in us or come through us is completely a gift from God through creation and especially through new creation in Jesus. When Jesus lived on earth he lived in complete dependence on his Father. He did and said nothing apart from his Father. Paradoxically that kind of life is where freedom is found. It’s the life which makes no pretense, doesn’t try to be something it’s not. But simply to be who God is making us to be in and through Jesus, completely open to that. And an important, often missing point: humility is best learned in community in Jesus (Philippians 2:1-11).

This is a bit of what true humility is, something we should aspire to in this life, even purifying ourselves, as we look forward to the day when we will be completely like Jesus, since we will see him face to face, and by the Spirit will perceive him as he is (1 John 3:2-3).


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