Humility mystifies, graces folks in materialistic society

| June 14, 2013 | 0 Comments


Chaplain (Capt.) Chris Hodge
130th Engineer Brigade
8th Theater Sustainment Command

As a minister and chaplain, I am quick to speak of God’s grace — the unmerited forgiveness given to all those who would seek it that comes only by the cost paid by God himself.

That being said, in the western church and our society, as a whole, there is an important truth that seems to have been almost forgotten today. This truth is that God’s grace comes to those of us who humble ourselves before him.

James 4:6 states, “… God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

Humility is a character trait that is quite mystifying to a society where success is measured by the amount of things or accomplishments that we have attained. Our society says that if we don’t meet a specific standard, then our worth is less than those who attain that standard.

The problem with this thinking is that God’s standard is that of selfless service rather than self-glorification. A perfect example is Jesus, who despite being the Son of God, the creator of the universe, came to this earth as a servant, a washer of feet and one who laid down his life for ours. He didn’t seek riches, fame or power. He showed that true love is focused on others, not self.

Grace is, by definition, unmerited favor. It’s that blessing that we neither deserve nor have earned. God’s love and forgiveness does not come by our good works or intentions. It comes by the realization that we are not able to live our lives according to God’s standard.

Jesus said, “God blesses those who are poor in spirit and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs” (Matthew 5:3).

So, then, if all we are and do is by the grace of God, then we should seek his amazing grace above all else. The biblical answer is that we put on a spirit of repentance and humble ourselves. The Scripture is clear that it is by his grace that we are saved.

In my years as a missionary in Russia, the most important lesson that I learned was that people were seeking unconditional love. I could speak eloquent theology and argue the different aspects of doctrine, but in the end, it was always the undeserved love of God that won their hearts.

That is what is so amazing about God. In his eyes, we are all worthy of love. His standard is so different from ours. When we humble ourselves, we put ourselves in a position to receive grace because we are no longer trying to obtain favor by our own actions or abilities.

Pride is the opposite. It closes us off to receiving.

Humility also puts us in a position to give, to share and to help others. When we no longer make it about “me,” then we can be there for others. A humble spirit is the key to doing great things when it comes to situations or needs that involve others. A humble spirit reflects back the undeserved love of God that we ourselves have received.

Let us then humble ourselves and receive that love, and let us dedicate ourselves to sharing it with those all around us who so desperately need it.

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Category: Footsteps in Faith, Standing Columns

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