Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Gift #6: Humility

"Sometimes the despair of waiting can bring us low. One of the hidden gifts of this position is a change in perspective." (Page 77 The Seven Spiritual Gifts of Waiting)

Have you ever heard the children's song, "Do you're ears hang low to they waggle to and fro. Can you tie them in a knot? Can you tie them in a bow?..." Humility is a word that isn't something that most people seek after. First of all, some may mistake humility for allowing yourself to be treated as a doormat. Humility actually is defined as:
"the quality or condition of being humble; modest opinion or estimate of one's own importance, rank, etc. "

From a Biblical perspective humility is characterized in the following verses as:
" a prominent Christian grace (Rom. 12:3; 15:17, 18; 1 Cor. 3:5-7; 2 Cor. 3:5; Phil. 4:11-13). It is a state of mind well pleasing to God (1 Pet. 3:4); it preserves the soul in tranquility (Ps. 69:32, 33), and makes us patient under trials (Job 1:22). Christ has set us an example of humility (Phil. 2:6-8). We should be led thereto by a remembrance of our sins (Lam. 3:39), and by the thought that it is the way to honor (Prov. 16:18), and that the greatest promises are made to the humble (Ps. 147:6; Isa. 57:15; 66:2; 1 Pet. 5:5). It is a great paradox in Christianity that it makes humility the avenue to glory."

While humility can be a difficult thing for modern humanity to grasp, it is a means of great respect and care for others - as well as a means of rest - that needs greater focus in the Christian life.

According to Chapter 6 in our text; Humility leads us to:
the Grace of God.
to love rather than achieve.
to honor others.
to live without judgment.
to honest assessment.

Humility has the ability to to help us see ourselves as God sees us. In that perspective, we are able to see our weaknesses but also the strengths. In the eyes of humility, our true God given abilities shine through and we may become better equipped to use them in service to God and others.

Consider this writing by Marianne Williamson:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you NOT to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

How can humility help you move beyond those areas of fear? What actions today do I need to repent from? How have I used my God-given gifts today?

May God help us to lovingly look at ourselves and others with the eyes of humility; and be blessed by the amazing gifts that are discovered.

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1 comment:

Mel said... ya knew I was going to really like that, didn't ya?

Well done!