During a recent Sunday morning message, we were challenged to consider whether or not we are truly treasuring Jesus. One of the questions we used as a test for our heart was this: Does my life consistently reflect a laying down of myself in order to follow the Spirit of Christ?
If Jesus is the highest treasure of our heart, then over time we will have an eager willingness to die to the desires and the parts of our character that are contradictory to His. And we will find ourselves on the trajectory of growing in humility, because Jesus came to earth as the righteous, victorious, humble King. Humility is in fact a command of the Christian life.
Clothe yourselves all of you, with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
1 Peter 5:5
Without humility we have God’s opposition, no matter how right or just we may be in our argument. But with humility we are promised God’s grace, even if we have been wrong in the situation. God WILL rescue the guilty, IF they are humble (Job 22:29-30).
I define Biblical humility this way: Lowering yourself in contrition to and dependence upon God, in order to make much of Him and to make the benefits of Christ available to others. Humility gives the throne of our life back to God in order that we might glorify Him. And humility leads us to sacrifice that we might share all the blessings of God’s Kingdom with others.
So what should humility look like for a Christ follower? The following 4 items are not intended as an exhaustive list of how those who treasure Jesus will live, but it is a start to get us thinking:
- In humility, we will be generous with all of the resources that God gives us. (1 Timothy 6:17-18)
- In humility, we will not repay evil for evil but will seek to bless even our enemies. (1 Peter 3:9)
- In humility, we will not be critical but will bear with the faults and differences of others in grace. (Colossians 3:12-13)
- In humility, we will not seek to win debates but to persuade others in love. (2 Corinthians 5:11)
Pride always wants to win the argument. But humility sees truth as a compass to give direction, not a hammer to destroy.
God’s word guarantees that if we try to exalt ourself, God will humble us. But if we humble ourself in the same way that Jesus did, then in his time and in his way God will exalt us. So may we be found following after Christ as our treasure, growing in his humble nature. After all it is a great paradox in Christianity, that it makes humility the avenue to glory (Easton 1897).