Humility flavoured by Christ

Humility is such a sweet quality, and most of us enjoy being in the presence of it. It has the unmatched ability to grow relationships to be agreeable and harmonious. Uniquely, humility looks not only to his/her own interests, but also to the interests of others (Philippians 2:4).
Humility flavoured by Christ

The Lord displays enormous humility which He also values in His people. Psalm 25:9 says the Lord leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. For some of us, this takes a long time as the Lord employs the repetitive and sanctifying lessons of life to slowly realign our priorities and values to reflect His.

New Testament humility speaks of a person’s lowliness of mind which is not weak, nor is it depressing. Rather, humility expresses inner strength which is under control and places self second to others. For the Christian, this begins with placing self under the example and lordship of Jesus Christ as our character template.

In Matthew 20:27-28, Jesus explained to His disciples, whoever would be first among you must be your slave, 28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Jesus’ example is both invigorating and challenging. Surely, He was entitled as the anointed Christ, the Son of God, to be served. But no, Christ did not exalt himself… (Hebrews 5:5). Jesus came not for personal aggrandisement, nor to fulfil His own will but the will of him who sent Him (John 6:38). Jesus came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10), to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15) was Paul’s conclusion. Jesus was, and remains, the serving Saviour who humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:8).

But for we sinners, we naturally resist thinking of ourselves as slaves. This requires relinquishing personal rights and entitlements for the benefit and advancement of Christ and others. Recognising our struggle with this motivates us to bow in dependence upon the Lord working out His humility within us. This unnatural and selfless attitude of humility begins with Christ. He invites us to take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart… (Matthew 11:29).

Christian humility flows from Christ’s humility, and it flows through Holy Spirit replication of Jesus’ character (2Co 3:18). The Lord announced in Isaiah 57:15 …I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite. As believers place themselves under the Lord, He assigns His presence to them for the purpose of spiritual revival and ongoing heart development.

Whereas worldly humility, sooner or later, seeks something for self. It may simply be recognition, vindication, or reward of some kind, but self will surface and pursue gratification. This is NOT the attitude of those who believe in Christ as Lord. God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). Therefore, James exhorts us to humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up (James 4:10 NIV), which is the essence of Isaiah’s words.

It is a privilege to live and worship under the Lord’s supremacy, knowing that He is active in that self-humiliation process. I encourage you to seek the Lord’s ongoing character development beginning with humility, for with the humble is wisdom (Proverbs 11:2).

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