Humility

I have been reading from the Worship Series by Matt Redman  called Inside Out Worship. One of the chapters is on the Irreplaceable Quality of Humility. It seems that it’s a word we don’t hear much in our vocabularly these days. I think we have an incomplete picture in our minds of what a humble person is.

Some of Matt’s thoughts are:

“The heart posture of humility recognizes that God alone can do powerful and meaningful things. By His grace we may get involved with such ministry, but we are ever the carriers and never the cause. The humble heart recognizes the difference between entrustment and achievement. Great is the temptation to think that we had something to do with a particularly poignant success in ministry. Dangerous thoughts. Next thing we know we’re praying less, preparing less and generally less dependant.”

“Humility only blossoms when we stop thinking about ourselves altogether and start to fix our gaze elsewhere. Humility is letting someone else use your idea, and then telling no one it originated with you. Humililty is listening to another, even when you yourself have plenty to say. Humility expresses itself in random acts of kindness performed day in and day out, for God’s eyes only. C. S. Lewis once wrote, if you meet someone who is truly humble, “he will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all.”

So why am I writing about humility? I have been personally focussing in on Colossians 3 in recent weeks. And there it is…clothe yourself with these things.

“12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

None of this ‘attire’ comes to us naturally. Even to choose to ‘clothe ourselves’ with these virtues seems a foreign thing. It can only come from focussing less on ourselves and more on Jesus. Worship is all about being totally ‘given to God’, and allowing a genuine affection to be shown in outward expression. Humility in a consumeristic world is a rare quality as so many things war against preferring others. Even now, I think of some recent humble expressions of others that have caught my attention. It catches me by surprise because it’s so counter-culture. It’s like gold that we need to continue to dig for, it won’t be found lying on the surface.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Neal McArthur
    Jul 12, 2006 @ 12:13:10

    22 And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight. 2 Samuel 6:22 NKJV
    I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes
    2 Samuel 6:22 NIV

    Two separate translations show that there is a relation somehow between being humble and being humiliated? Are we as lead worshippers prepared to be humiliated?

    Humility is such a non-cool word for someone that has a nice shiny guitar and a nice singing voice. But yes, its something we all need to be willing to “clothe ourselves in”. And willing to be humiliated needs to be part of the package.

    Once when I was a young worship leader I would know the fact that I felt so good after a worship service, when people tell me how shiny my guitar was how nice my voice was.
    I knew it wasn’t the Holy Spirit because It was satisfying and empty part of my ego. One thing I’ve learnt is that satisfaction does not come from this. Satisfaction only comes from how satisfied you are in your relationship with Jesus.

    This is something that goes on your whole life, and is a constant struggle for everyone that says ‘If I just buy a new car I’ll feel satisfied that I can go and serve God’ or ‘If I can just have one more Big Mac I’ll feel satisfied. And life will be good.’ Sorry, you can’t serve God and mammon.
    And this is where humiliation comes in. It a realization that you have been foolish to follow the things of the world that are so temporary, material things, food, clothes, ‘Soulish‘ emotions that ultimately have no eternal value. This I believe then allows you to clothe yourself with true humility as Colossians says.

    So my guitar is no longer shiny and my voice is struggling more and more. But I’ll continue to come to a point of Humiliation, to grasp hold of the eternal things God has install for me.

    One last thing I believe that there is a step beyond Humility which keeps you walking in a place of humility. Walk in the footsteps of Jesus. Do the stuff. Luke 4:18 Feed the poor, set the captives free, pray for the sick. This is the stuff that is eternal !

  2. diavca
    Jul 12, 2006 @ 12:21:32

    What a thoughtful response Neale. Thanks so much for that contribution to the discussion. Valuable indeed. I have found that link to humiliation challengingly close but have never seen it in the difference between those translations. Your last paragraph highlighting Luke 4 is so important. That’s where the reality of eternity hits the road…walking in the footsteps of Jesus.
    Come and visit anytime! I like the way you write!

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