You’ve probably heard the saying, “The minute you think you’re humble, you’re not!”
Erwin McManus explains why that is not an accurate statement in his book, “Stand Against the Wind”, ©2006. (Quotations below are taken from Chapter 3)
We’ve all heard that for us to be like Jesus we must humble ourselves. We’ve also heard the verses in Philippians 2 that explain how Jesus humbled Himself and made Himself nothing. But for me, I don’t think I have considered how GOD Himself is humble.
McManus says we can “move toward humility without losing it in the pursuit” when we start with self-awareness followed by selflessness. “God in His nature is humble. Without humility a God of infinite power would use His resources to impress rather than to transform. Without humility God would find no value in us, nor would He be concerned for our well-being. The realization that God, in all of His power and knowledge and order, is more humble than any of us is virtually beyond comprehension.” (p. 32)
I did a quick topical search on the words humble and humility and found almost 100 bible verses - so why all this stress on being humble? Because “integrity is formed in the heart of the humble.” (p. 31) “When a person has an attitude problem, what he or she really has is an arrogance problem…Pride fills up the space where integrity needs to reside.” (p. 30)
To be a person of integrity is to be a person who lives in truth and therefore must be teachable and seek what is TRUE. Jesus calls us to be transformed disciples - not by our sheer will and determination - but by taking on the Godly attribute of humility.
On page 34 McManus claims that the Bible never says we are to pray for humility: instead we are commanded to be humble. There are some things that God does and some things God requires. While humility is a divine attribute, it is our responsibility to choose to obey and be humble. Submitting to God is an act of humility that leads to repentance, allowing us to have a relationship with God.
The chapter starts with, “Humility is coming to grips with our humanity. Our humility allows God’s intervention.”
The chapter ends with, “Anywhere God walks is not beneath us. In Jesus we see that the power of God is unleashed to accomplish His greatest good when we are willing to walk in humility. To be humble is to be truly great.”
May we be ever more like the God of the universe.