A single word can, many times, lead us into a very interesting and lengthy discussion for a word almost always means different things to different folks. And at the very least it can lose its clarity and value and lie among other important words that we use so often; but can, at the worst, result in portraying the opposite result than was intended. This is one of the inherent limitations of language and we must be careful to define important words as we use them.

 

Humility is one such word. We can take a very shallow view, somewhat in passing, and all agree that it is important and then press on with life as if we have covered the subject. Many spiritual leaders speak on the subject of humility (rightfully so) and implore us to humble ourselves before God. But, really, that is so basic to the Christian faith (unless you are talking to someone in a distant land that has never heard of God) that it is somewhat meaningless and off the mark as it relates to the true humility required of believers. Further, if left at that point, distracts from the true intent of Christian humility.

 

The only Christian humility that is true, and to some degree belongs to us, is that which is carried with us in life and is shared with our fellow man. It’s the true test, the measuring stick, for it is far more difficult to humble ourselves before man than it is before God. But it defines our faith, makes use of the power of God in our witness to fellow man, and sets us apart for Him. We who call ourselves Christian do a good job of humbling ourselves before those in authority over us, but have we humbled ourselves before those beneath us as Jesus did before his persecutors and all that He came in contact with? Have we humbled ourselves before our children, spouse, employees, friends, neighbors and those who have made claim against us? This is in no way suggesting that we compromise our principles or give in to worldly practices but it is to carry a humble attitude and countenance as a witness to our fellow man.

 

Finally, if we tell someone that we have humbled ourselves before God, he will take it or leave it depending on his thoughts about God. But if we humble ourselves before him, he will know that something is different here and, perhaps, want to know what it is! A clear understanding of true Christian humility separates the nominal from the true believer and if practiced will keep us from falling into the modern day trap of living a “form of Godliness but denying the power thereof”.

Into our hands the Gospel is given,

Into our hands is given the light,

Haste, let us carry God’s precious message,

Guiding the erring back to the right . . . (Into Our Hands)