Whittling away at God

Whoever humbles himself…” (Matthew 18:4).

Forget who is greatest in the kingdom of Jesus. Minus humility, no one sets foot in the door (Mt. 5:3).

What is humility, besides one of the most difficult words to define? We know humility when we see it. We know its antithesis – pride – when we see it.

But what is humility, precisely?

Confucius said humility is “the foundation of all virtues.”
Said Desiderius Erasmus: “humility is truth.”
Frank Lloyd Wright made this interesting observation: “I feel coming on a strange disease – humility.”

Humility: a strange disease.

Indeed.

We have no problem identifying arrogance or humility when we see them.

Our problem is identifying arrogance when we practice it.

We suppose humility a social grace – a mere matter of manners. Yet, biblical humility does not follow social etiquette:

Humility chased money changers out of the Temple with a whip.
Humility called hypocritical Jewish leaders a brood of vipers.

Humility – in a word – is surrender.

It is above mere social etiquette.
It is beyond cultural norms.
It different from the world’s expectations.

Earthlings revel in strength and confidence in meaningless pursuits. But we are cowards in the things that matter most.

Humility bows to the proper deity. But we will have no god.
So we whittle away, till God looks more like us.

“You thought I was just like you” (Psalm 50:21).

Humility – in a word – is surrender.

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