April 5, 2019
Put on then, as God's chosen ones,
holy and beloved…humility…
When a special occasion arises, I spend a disproportionate amount of time determining the best outfit to look great in. Often, I seek approval of others with a “how do I look?” The ready use of cosmetics means I can use extra layers of makeup to mask my fears and insecurities. I can also stay quiet and not expose my weaknesses (especially in the German language). Today’s Scripture on humility caused me to consider my “inner wardrobe” and how the Bible pays a lot of attention to this. How we dress inside and out is important. God looks at the heart, whereas people look at appearances. Who do we want to please?
Humility isn’t natural to us as sinners. When I hear or think of the word humility, I often think of when people put themselves down, wear sackcloth or look deliberately frumpy and I often associate humility with low self-esteem. I realize that this is often the result of where my thoughts and priorities lie. The unholy trinity-the world, the flesh and the devil ─ gives way to arrogance and in a negative way has an impact on our daily living. We live in a world that views humility as negative. We are called to be in the world but not of the world.
How does the inner wardrobe work?
- Acknowledge God’s gifts and use them to help others.
Jesus’ death was the biggest example of humility. Far from putting ourselves down, we should acknowledge this gift from God and our value in Christ. Just as God was angry with Moses for putting himself down, our attitude should be to acknowledge both our strengths and weaknesses. At the same time, we should use our gifts to serve others. “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less.” (−C.S. Lewis)
- Seek help from the Holy Spirit
Since humility starts from the inside, we can ask for help through the Holy Spirit. This already is the start of humility. When Jesus saves us and fills us with his Spirit, we begin to change. But it doesn’t happen automatically. God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. (James 4:6) The reward for humility is grace.
- Seek help from the Word of God, not from the self
God gave us the Bible. While I do read various self-help books, it is actually the Word of God, the daily bread, that offers the most comfort and solutions. For this reminds me where our help comes from.
Authentic humility is more likely to be a sanctifying process and there is a chance that we will make many a faux-pas with how we “dress” internally.
However, during Lent, I challenge all of us to put on humility.