Diane and Mike, thank you both.
"Practically speaking, how might we humble ourselves?"
I was outside doing yard work ealier and Mat 11:29 came to mind and how the Lord said to learn of Him, and that He was meek and lowly of heart.
So I was thinking then about your question, and thought of some examples,
taking the low seat and giving to those who cannot repay you. And washing each others feet.
Christopher Joel Dandrow
| 2008/5/5 20:11||Profile|
| Re: humility: letting it go|
I mean, isn't there a difference between outward acts of humility, and the disposition of the heart?
Anyone answering Chris' post on humility is obviously disqualified from being humble.
Okay, then, I am disqualified because I am going to answer Chriss question. Really, I come by it justly.
Last Monday I arrived at a musical commitment, only to learn that it had been cancelled. Alas! This wasted four hours out of my precious time, never mind gas. I could easily have been told ahead of time. In my frustration I uttered some unsanctified words to those present in the room. In fact, I made a fool of myself.
On the way home, I experienced something far more humiliating than the memory of my embarrassing non-professional response in the eyes of my colleagues: it was the horrifying realization that my TIME was becoming an idol.
An opportunity to humble myself came later: through a commitment with my offender the one who could have spared me my time. With the Lords mercy, I was able to remain silent about the issue and happily continue with business as usual. That took grace. Something inside me would have loved to offer just a wee hint about the offence and see him squirm even just a bit.
Chris, I agree with you: Humility is an act that springs from a changed disposition of the heart, and in my case, the erosion of pride and idolatry via well-deserved humiliation.
Sometimes humility is simply the act of letting it go.
| 2008/5/7 5:47||Profile|
| Re: Humiliation|
"Humiliations are always painful for as, but they will become easy when we begin to give thanks for them. God is doing us a great service through His work of chastening; He is redeeming us from our hidden pride, which ruins our lives and makes us unhappy." -from the article Repression: Supression, by Basilea Schlink
I haven't read all the responses on this thread but some good responses. We have a choice.. we can become Humble or Humiliated. We must become humiliated with ourselves and look to Jesus and HIS WORD before we have any opportunity to become humble. However as Christians, it is in our best interest to remain humble. Humility is knowing "without him we are nothing". Humility is reading the book of proverbs and saying man I could have saved a heap of trouble and many sorrows in life, if I had only took these passages seriously, instead of thinking I am smarter than God. When we observe any person continually resisting humility toward God..we know that there will be a much humiliation down the road to bring them to the cross. But eventually he leaves them alone. I thank him for his mercy.
37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings,[b] and ye would not![/b]WAS JESUS SAYING THEY HAD A CHOICE?
38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
We should always be aware of the fact, if there is anything good about us or others, it's Jesus, and when the bad comes out, it's is us and we are ignoring HIS SPIRIT and HIS WORD which always brings about humiliation to us.
| 2008/5/7 6:43|
| Re: Humiliation|
A great and fairly short read on this subject is "Humility" by Andrew Murray. Every page quoteable, but here's an excert from the 1st chapter:
"Man's chief care, his highest virtue,
and his only happiness, now and through
all eternity, is to present himself as
an empty vessel in which God can dwell
and manifest His power and goodness.
Humility, the place of entire dependence
on God, is, from the very nature of things,
the first duty and the highest virtue of man."
"We know not that we are poor, miserable, wrethched, naked and blind. Or we do, but for fear of being exposed, we refuse to admit it.
[i][size=x-small]But then afterwards, as we walk upon the narrow road for awhile, we may see at times the dichotomy between what we should be and what we really are and here pride can take hold again. Instead of doing as we first did when all our sins were laid bare, we may be tempted to hide them from the world becuase secretly we've left the place of humiliation, or worse yet, were standing beneath the cross now clothed with garments of our own.[/size][/i]"
Amen to that. In our own self righteous garb we find ourselves in the wilderness again wandering in our own strength, not dependent on Him...is this not the true nature of pride? How it sneaks up on me!...but I should not be suprised if I've been prayerless. I don't think there is anything we can do to humble ourselves except go to Him. First in the secret chamber and second when He brings circumstances to humble us...there we choose to submit to His mighty hand.
| 2008/5/7 10:16||Profile|
:-) Hopefully my response was only understood as it related to me. I was just saying, tongue in cheek, that humility is kind of like the sun...you can't see it by looking at it directly.
I like Diane's story, because it involved a person. People are the real test for us. Though I understand the rising number of 'prophetic' people who are pulling out of fellowships under the righteous banner "Come out from among her." I am also wary of the trend. I wonder if some of them do not know the spirit that they are of. North America is overflowing with self-directed spiritual Thomas Mertons all on their own inward path...a path free of commitment to people who, after-all, hinder our walk with the Lord.
Once an elder in a church I was at, decided to hold a foot washing service. This particular foot washing was very spiritual; he didn't use real water or a material wash cloth, and did not touch real feet of flesh. Instead he briefly knelt before each seated person, and gently told them that he was washing their feet 'in the spirit'. To be sure, spirituality is more comely then humility.
Now perhaps for some of us, we can achieve humility by an inward meditation upon the surrendered disposition of the heart...but I find for myself, someone's dirty feet are more effective. ;-)
MC (The alpha male of humility)
| 2008/5/7 13:54||Profile|
| Re: Humility is like the sun.........|
I was just saying, tongue in cheek, that humility is kind of like the sun...you can't see it by looking at it directly.
MC, I like this analogy! In other words, if you try to gaze at your humility youll get blinded: It makes you self-focused. Humility is a freedom from self and an outward look - a move towards others.
Some day, I may quote the insightful Someone who said, Humility is like the sun
(Now, brother, dont stare at that one too long, lest you get blinded!)
Speaking of quotes on humility: Spurgeon said, Humility is to make a right estimate of one's self. Oh, sure, the Spirit is the one who brings conviction. Yet, he teaches us truths about ourselves through the context of our inter-relatedness with others.
the rising number of 'prophetic' people who are pulling out of fellowships under the righteous banner "Come out from among her." I am also wary of the trend. I wonder if some of them do not know the spirit that they are of.
This kind of spirit has been around for a long time:
No body likes me,
everybody hates me,
so I think Ill go to the garden and eat worms.
In other words, coming apart can be a defence mechanism, a way to insulate oneself from the risk of further rejection. In the ditty there is no attempt to sanctify the defect. It is honest. (Maybe we should add it to our list of worship songs).
Spirituality is the perfect loophole for humility.
Besides fooling ourselves further, this also insulates us from God:
What makes humility so desirable is the marvelous thing it does to us; it creates in us a capacity for the closest possible intimacy with God (Monica Baldwin)
Even Thomas Merton (whom I gather is not our ideal model) has something good to say about humility: Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real. (There you go, we learn from the "flawed" ones)
someone's dirty feet are more effective.
It seems that God keeps on using the defects of people to whittle away my constant struggle with self-righteousness and artificiality.
All that to say to those who are reluctant to join a church family that has defects:
That may be the very place God wishes to transform you into his image.
| 2008/5/8 8:48||Profile|