In HOPE 10.18

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David Timms


Quotes to Consider

"The only hope of a decreasing self is an increasing Christ."
-- F.B. Meyer

"Nothing sets a person so much out of the devil's reach as humility."
-- Jonathan Edwards


Prayer for Today

Father, I long for the freedom of humility. Take the toxic mix of pride and shame that swirls within me and grant me a fresh vision of Your grace. Deliver me from my vain efforts to tame my own heart and consume me with the wonder of Yourself. Draw me out of my self-absorption and may Jesus occupy my thoughts today. Amen.




“Being occupied with self,
even having the deepest self-abhorrence,
can never free us from self."
– Andrew Murray, Humility, 73

No Mean Feat

The Lord said to Solomon, "If My people will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14) Years later, the prophet Micah reminded ancient Israel that the Lord required them "to walk humbly with God." (Micah 6:8) Later still, the apostle Paul would urge Christians to "put on a heart of humility." (Colossians 3:12)

But the quest for humility is so easily derailed and so frequently misguided!

At one end of the spectrum, pride beguiles us into constant boastfulness. We're always dropping subtle hints of our greatness -- people we know, places we've been, abilities we have, successes we've achieved. 

At the other end of the spectrum, self-loathing produces in us a sense of worthlessness and perhaps (strangely enough) a different expression of pride. "I don't ... I won't ... I couldn't ... I can't ...." 

We've typically thought that humility -- the death of self that sets us free -- emerges as the mean between the two. Suppress our pride a little and don't be too excessive in our self-abhorrence. However, virtue is not the mean between extremes. Authentic humility springs from an entirely different place.

Andrew Murray wisely notes that the task is to grow "fully occupied with God." And as we grasp His grace, He transforms us.

Sin humiliates us. Grace leaves us unspeakably grateful. Sin produces shame. Grace leads us to worship. Sin keeps us self-absorbed. Grace gives us a higher vision. Sin sucks hope from us. Grace nourishes it.

Humility, then, comes not from self-restraint but from Christ-centeredness. We grow in humility by focusing on neither our pride nor our sin but by growing increasingly pre-occupied with Christ. The least humble people have spent the least time with Him.

Our quest for the humility that honors God and God honors, must focus on Him. "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me." (Galatians 2:20)

Such humility allows us to love unconditionally, to forgive completely, to serve sincerely, and to live fully. It sets us free from our prideful facades and our shame-filled feelings. And it grows as Christ grows before and within us.

May we see more of Him and less of ourselves today.





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You can find back issues of "In HOPE" (2005-2010) at .

David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.