Embrace Humility

One of the most insightful explanations of humility comes from C.S. Lewis in his book, Mere Christianity:

Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call “humble” nowadays: he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody. Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him.

If you want to follow Christ’s example, you probably aspire to this type of winsome humbleness. Not surprisingly, many of us fail miserably, and the result is often the “smarminess” that Lewis (and most other people) despises.

Perhaps the biggest factor in this connection is that, in an attempt to be humble, we tend to focus inward on our faults, foibles, and all-around insignificance–and we stay there–yielding an ironic contradiction: we see ourselves as “nobody,” but we still end up focusing entirely on self. This is the furthest thing from humility.

So, as an effort to cultivate a focus that produces true humility, I’ve listed a few statements to ponder that I believe lead us away from “smarminess” and toward genuine humility:

  • God is incomparably great (Dan. 4:34-35).
  • God made all things, including me (Gen. 1:1ff).
  • God made all men and women in his own image, including me (Gen. 1:27).
  • Every good gift comes from my heavenly Father (James 1:17).
  • I don’t have anything that I did not receive from God (1 Cor. 4:7).
  • Except the Lord builds the house, he labors in vain that builds it (Ps. 127:1).
  • Christ–God, the Creator, the Eternal One, etc.– humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death (Phil. 2).
  • God laid our sins on Christ, so that we might be made the righteousness of God in him (2 Cor. 5:21).
  • While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Rom. 5:8).
  • Even when we were dead in trespasses and sins, God made us alive in Christ (Eph. 2:1ff).
  • Of him, and through him, and to him are all things (Rom. 11:36).

I know there are a thousand more…Can you think of any?

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