Reflections on Humility

February 2011 Blog:

  I have been praying about developing the ability to deny self for a little while now- and since that time I have encountered many situations where the true nature of “self” is a little more exposed and its not a pretty sight!! Not that I thought it was an easy task- on the contrary I knew it would be challenging but the extent to which “self”, “me” “I” crop up is unbelievable- more often than not is the honest answer. In fact society applauds our selfishness and the need to do our own thing with its talk “ego” “id” and “independence” and being self- made” as soon as we are born.

Never-the-less I am in God’s capable hands and have asked him to have his way and teach me to be humble. It is painful to be dealt with by God- but what do I expect this stuff, built up over decades needs to be rooted out and extracted by force! I have cherished it and pampered it like a baby. If I am a follower of Christ, self has got to go!

I started to read Humility a book by Andrew Murray (it was funny how it was the only title available by him at the Christian Bookshop I regularly visit) God has a sense of humour! The book includes the following prayer that I have written out and plan to regularly include when I pray:
“Heavenly Father, may your great goodness be know to me. Take from my heart every kind and form and degree of pride, whether it be from evil spirits or my own corrupt nature. Awaken in me the deepest depth of that humility which can make me worthy of being but your servant, a vessel through which you could manifest the riches of your wisdom, goodness and power”.

I believe by the grace of God, that he will root out pride in all its forms in me but this will take time- If I want my Lord to be All to me- I have to be Nothing. The book reminded me of Christ’s ultimate Humility to save me. Divinity humbles himself to become humanity- not just an ordinary human. Though the King of Heaven he became the lowest of the low when he came to earth- born in a stable amongst animals; lived in poverty with his family; became a carpenter; was derided and mocked, even called evil, “the devil” by pompous Scribes and Pharisees. They openly sought to take his life and made no secret that they hated him and all he stood for. He was always on the run- a Freedom Fighter for the Truth with nowhere to call home.

Then even as he knew he would be betrayed he served his disciples- he washed their feet, knowing their unworthiness. Despite pleading with his dearly loved disciples and friends to watch and pray with him, they fell asleep. The cup- that bitter cup of sin of the whole world for all time- was close to his lips. He pleaded with God to remove it if it was his will, but in Humility he accepted that it was God’s will for him to drink it, for that was the fulfilment of his purpose on earth.

Then the scenes before his crucifixion: mocking, scourging, spitting, humiliation, laughing, jeers, abuse, derision. What did he do? He opened not his mouth, but submitted himself “like a sheep before shearers2.

Who am I then, to wallow in self pity? The bible tells me that if I want the reward that Christ paid so dearly for, I need to join him outside the camp in this world to receive the reward in the next.

We are humbled so we can be exalted- this is the divine rule. We have to accept God’s condition and follow Christ’s example. So when I think about “humility”, God is not asking me to match Christ, but to join him in my own feeble, worthless way. He has set a blueprint for humility in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. My task is to read, inwardly digest- seek help from the Comforter and take up my cross and follow him. To live his life (in heaven), I have to die his death (on earth). I am not even being asked to drink the same cup- I was not worthy for the task- only Christ was. So this year by God’s grace, I need to learn in Christ’s School of Humility which requires me to take up my cross, deny myself and follow Him- He thinks I can do it because he has already told me that I can do All things through Him, will you join me?

What are you doing to deny self?
What are the challenges you face in seeking humility?
What lessons have you learnt by being dealt with by God?
©, 2012 (all rights reserved)

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