Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 5:3 ESV

If I told you that my goal this summer is to become a humbler person, you would laugh… and you should laugh.

The mere act of stating your humility is an act of pride.

I was introduced once by another pastor with the statement, “Pastor Grant is a humble person just like me.” Some members of my family laughed. Not in ridicule (well perhaps a little) but in the incongruity of the phrase – humble like me.

When you claim humility, you aren’t!

Humility is a virtue, for which we should aspire. What is humility? How do we become humble without being filled with pride?

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  Philippians 2:5-8 ESV

Right there: humility! Jesus showed us humility by His example of giving up His identity. God became man. That which was His, He did not grasp.

What do you grasp? What is your life-long ambition? Your right? Your identity? Are you willing to give it? Humility isn’t heroic adulation of ego, but a laying aside of self-importance.

Hard to do, but often required for servants of Jesus. We are to follow His example. As Corrie Ten Boom once said, “Hold everything in your hands lightly, as it hurts too much when God pries your fingers open.”

Consider:

  • Abraham:  His identity was to become the Father of many nations and yet God asked him to sacrifice Isaac
  • Moses:  To set God’s people free and yet God took him to a wilderness for 40 years
  • Peter:  Held the keys to the church and then denied Jesus three times
  • Paul:  To preach, but after his first sermon series, had to be lowered over the wall of Damascus by a rope in a basket to escape an unappreciative audience

On and on.

Every successful person in history will discuss the time when their identity, their life focus, seemed to be lost. Their solution? Give it up. As the motto goes, “Let go and let God.” Humility, not attained by action, finds those of action and prepares them for action.

Jesus gives the example: He willingly gave up His eternal presence with the Father. He died unjustly. He demonstrated that God’s power is manifest in weakness.

How about you? What is your identity? That one goal that you must achieve? Someday there will be a crossroads of “giving it up” and either losing it entirely or having God give it back.

Your true success as a child of God means accepting – “Whatever you want, God; I’m your servant.”

Humility? God insists, but we resist. His glory in us is His goal. We are His identity.