Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Why We Should Choose Humility and Let Go of Pride

I'm slowly working my way through James and I've come to the Humility section. The examples of Moses and David have left me wondering if I'll ever be truly humble. 

Moses, Scripture tells us, was the most humble man on the face of the earth. Despite the thousands of years since then, I doubt anyone has exceeded him in humility.

I'm not sure Moses was the most humble man on earth when he was a youth in Pharaoh's court, but forty years in the wilderness, tending sheep, provided a much-needed lesson in humility. 

Chasing sheep over the rocky hills, tending them, and guarding them are not pride-building exercises. It's hard work, often frustrating, and sometimes heart-breaking. 

During those years, Moses left his life of elegance and glamour behind and embraced simplicity and faith. It changed him at his core, and he never went back to his old life.

The word translated as humble indicates a person with a modest, lowly opinion of himself, someone who would prefer to bear an injury than to cause one. We might call a person with that mindset a "wimp," but God would call them great.

Our culture rewards those who are confrontational, arrogant, and speak with derogatory words toward others. We need look no further than the plethora of "viral" posts on the internet to see the truth of our craving for word-bashing. We think we know best. Always. 

Pride abounds.

In the perfect culture of God, we, His people, would recognize that He knows best. We would bow to His authority and treat each other with respect and honor. 

I believe that's how it is in heaven. God is on His throne and everyone behaves as if they know it, because they do.

We, the body of Christ, could adopt the humble mindset now, if we would grasp the enormity of God. Moses didn't wait for the Red Sea to part to become humble. It was burned into him through years of sacrifice, simple living, and hard work.

That's how humility comes to us, too, not in fancy clothes, bespoke suits, or big bank accounts, but in the simplicity of a life of faith. It comes from following, not demanding the right to lead. In seeing ourselves as we are before a great and mighty God. 

There was a time in my life when the simple life seemed foolish to me, strange and unwieldy and senseless, but those days are long gone. I crave a return to living on the land, a vibrant community of like-minded individuals working together to accomplish a greater good, a life of simple faith lived simply. 

Even in this busy, mixed-up world of ours, we can embrace a heart of humility. I believe it begins by doing what Jesus said. Loving God more than anything else and loving our neighbor as much, and in the same way, as we love ourselves. 

Why bother with love and humility? Scripture tells us pride comes before a fall but God gives grace to the humble. I'd much rather have grace than a painful fall, wouldn't you? 

There's something that, in a way, is even better, though. The seeds of humility in Moses' heart grew into a deep relationship with God in which they spoke as man to man, friend to friend. No one else dared to risk it, but Moses walked into the presence of God. It's grace on an entirely new level. We can have the same relationship, if we're willing to let go of pride and embrace humility. 

Today, let's ask God for an humble, gentle, Moses' heart. It will change our lives, for it's a request He's sure to honor. 

"But He gives a greater grace. 
Therefore it says, 'God is opposed to the proud, 
but gives grace to the humble.'" 
James 4:6 nasb
In case you missed yesterday's post, here's the link: President's Day Ponderings
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