The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 3/16

Posted on | March 16, 2016 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 3/16

Scripture reading: I Peter 5:5–7

Humility in the Wrong Place

How long will you refuse to humble yourself? (Exodus 10:3)

 

Humility is in vogue again. Yes, surprisingly enough our post-mod- ern culture has rediscovered a long, lost virtue and restored it to its rightful place of prominence. But before you rejoice too quickly, be warned: humility ain’t what it used to be! Whereas an earlier generation urged us to be humble because of our sins and shortcomings, today we are exhorted to be humble because of our propensity to imagine that we could know the truth.

The world today defines humility as being tentative, hesitant, and even doubtful about what is right  and  true. Such  a posture is considered virtuous,  and  those who meekly admit they can’t really be sure of anything are held up as modern day saints. Conversely, those who are firm, assertive, and dogmatic about what they believe are treated as wacko extremists. What arrogance and audacity to pretend you know the truth and others are in error. What pride and presumption to imply that you are right and others wrong. Sinner, humble yourself and repent of such arrogance!

It’s strange when you stop to think about it. People today can be so certain that everything is uncertain. And those who are quick to point out how wrong it is to be right are so insistent about the rightness of their opinions! Don’t they realize the irrationality of claiming they are better than people who think they are better than people?

The problem is not with humility, but rather with attaching humility to the wrong thing. Writing over a century ago, G. K. Chesterton astutely discerned what was happening.

What we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition to the organ of conviction; where it was never meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed. . . . We are on the road to producing a race of men too mentally modest to believe in the multiplication table. (Orthodoxy)

If you want to learn the true nature of humility, read the Bible. It exhorts me to be humble about myself but firm in my conviction of the truth. Doubting the truth is sheer folly. Doubting myself is the beginning of wisdom. True humility is simply the ability to see myself for who I really am: created by God, corrupted by sin, redeemable by grace!

Biblical humility should never be equated with a negative self-image or that pious posturing which is constantly saying, “O, it’s not me. It’s the Lord.” True humility knows nothing of such ingratiating self-deprecation. The genuinely humble per- son never even thinks about his humility. Indeed, he doesn’t think about himself at all!

If you think you are not proud, then you undoubtedly are very proud indeed. And if you are proud of your humility, then your disease is further advanced than you ever imagined! Would you like to become humble? The first step is to admit what a pompous little self-inflated egotist you really are.

 

The chief mark of counterfeit holiness is lack of humility.

The holiest will be the humblest.—Andrew  Murray

 

point to ponder Do you sometimes think you are better than people who think they are better than people?

prayer focus Admit to God today that you are a pompous little self-inflated egotist.

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