Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Humility 101

I hope this blog post finds everyone well. I have not been able to update my blog in a few weeks due to a bad case of the flu which has run rampant through my family. I can’t remember the last time I was that sick but I am on the mend now and happy to be back writing.

Over the past several weeks, the Lord has been teaching me much about humility and harmony. I read a book by Andrew Murray called Humility: The Beauty of Holiness that was a little gem. In it Murray explains that the one characteristic that dominated the life of Christ was humility. He goes on to say that humility is the foundation for all other virtues to flourish in the life of the believer. This makes sense when you think about the insidious nature of pride and how it can ruin a life.

As I thought about humility and all that it encompasses, I came quickly to realize that there may be no harder lesson to learn or virtue to possess than humility. Ben Franklin, who spent most of his life exploring the role of civic and personal virtue, had this to say about humility, “In reality, there is, perhaps, no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive, and will every now and then peep out and show itself; you will see it, perhaps, often in this history; for, even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility.”

So, how does one actually attain humility? It certainly cannot be found in text books or within the walls of our most learned institutions. It can only be found in the schools of Christ. It is only as we allow ourselves to be captivated at the foot of the cross and realize who we are before Christ that the seeds of humility are firmly planted. For you see humility does not consist of thinking meanly of ourselves as some believe, but in not thinking of ourselves at all. If humility speaks of itself, it is gone.

It was this aspect of not thinking of Himself at all that enabled Christ to fulfill his earthly mission. He was completely and totally satisfied with the Father and as a result was completely obedient all the way to the cross.

Once we are able to subtract ourselves out of the equation than we become vessels perfectly suited for the Mater’s work. This is not easy and I do not pretend that it is. I need not look any further than my own life to realize how much pride creeps at the door of my heart almost constantly. It takes much discipline to bring myself to the cross not just daily but many times daily to be cleansed and fitted for God’s purpose.

As with any virtue we seek to see demonstrated in our lives, we must feed on the Word of God in order to see it manifested. The Word is the life blood of the soul and the fuel to conquer sin, the world, the devil, and our own flesh. If you have some time this week, read Psalm 119. It is referred to in Hebrew by its opening words, "Ashrei temimei derech" ("happy are those whose way is perfect"). It is the prayer of one who delights in and lives by the Word of God, the sacred law. What makes Psalm 119 unique is the way that these requests are continually and explicitly grounded in the gift of the Law and the psalmist's loyalty to it.

I hope to continue to write more blogs on the subject of humility in the coming weeks as the Lord leads. Until then, God Bless and please feel free to comment and let me know what God is teaching you.

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