“Being occupied with self,
even having the deepest self-abhorrence,
can never free us from self."
– Andrew Murray, Humility,
No Mean Feat
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)
the quest for humility is so easily derailed and so frequently
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.
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
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.
Murray wisely notes that the task is to grow "fully occupied
with God." And as we grasp His grace, He transforms us.
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.
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.
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)
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.
we see more of Him and less of ourselves today.