This blog is actually as a result of last years Lent course.
Our group asked what is humility?
My reflections on that very subject finally sort of come together in this blog…
Humility is made a very difficult concept by so many because they are looking for a clause in the contract. A way to make his view even when clearly stated in scripture match our worldly view. When Jesus challenges the latest societal diktat, or when his view challenges our view of whats loving, kind, or even cruel.
It makes me wonder the logic of it, for some Christians who hold on to secular and worldly ideals and ethical ideal we learn.
Why? because Jesus often does battle with all the learned behavior we assimilate. His ways are not our ways.
That behavior we learn and copy from the world, from others, can be what we see and have learned, as the right thing to do, or as the wrong thing to do.
When we first come to Jesus we take on board that he is both divine and human, a son of god come down to earth to reconcile humanity to God. Most realize repentance is required, forgiveness and love for our fellow man.
For a while we walk around in the joy of his love and then we start to understand more of what he means (mat 13:12) and he asks more of us.
Then it becomes a little more painful. We start to see our past stripped of all the layers of self delusion we use to come to terms with what we did and who we were. Through his eye’s and with his love he shows us where we fell short of his standards and the lies we tell about ourself.
These self deceptions aren’t in the most terrible lies, just small ones that go to build our own mythology. They enable us to see ourselves as better than we are, more kind, more honest, heroic, brave whatever than we actually are.
This stripping down, is usually as a result of Prayer where we ask him to make us able to follow his example. Because as long as we see ourselves as strong, intelligent, brave, caring without his help we can’t be what he wants us to be. We can’t see ourselves as the repeat offenders that we are while we construct layer after layer of excuses.
These excuses happen as a result of pride, and pride always seeks to cover embarrassment, anger, condemnation of others with , or by constructing our own mythology. Pride justifies ourselves by comparing it to our own faulty self image. I am not that bad, I can’t be wrong, I cant admit, how can that be true, no that’s not right.
In Matthew five, Jesus begins his beatitudes with the sentence “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
See going to his kingdom requires repentance. Seeing ourselves as who we truly are as he holds a mirror up to us. Then as we see all our weaknesses clearly, not using pride to hold on to them but releasing them to him, giving them up standing exposed before him.
Once you know how poor in spirit you are then yours is the kingdom of heaven. Why because he loves you and will use that awareness to build you up in his own image without the resistance and obstacles that pride puts in the way.
The true end result of that is that when you read the bible, and find something your old self would have argued with.
You don’t (or try not too).
Abraham didn’t ask for answers when god asked him to kill a son that god himself had given to him very late in life. How capricious and cruel must god have seemed to want to kill a son that God himself had given as a miracle, that he now loved very much.
He just held the knife and was prepared to plunge it into his own beloved sons heart.
God wanted to know, could Abraham overcome his own pride, love, the illogical, cruel nature of the request and kill his own blood. In effect could he overcome the sin of pride that he , Abraham knew better? Was he strong enough in the lord to overcome his weakness that his idea of the world was better than gods?
As so often in the old testament, an unchanging god shows us how he wants us to interact with him.
In my own personal experience when challenged by my thoughts and feelings, when Gods view seems cruel or capricious I follow him. So far when I come through that process the thing I learn from it far exceeds the narrow view I had before.
With humility you come before him and say you know what I don’t understand this, show me why this is better, but even until you do. or even if you don’t. I trust you, I am humble enough to know when my thoughts are not your thoughts then you are right.
In my humility I can accept your leadership not without question but without an answer.
At that point, quite often is when the answer comes, through prayer. Not quite as dramatically as Abraham with an Angel telling him to stop, but through lessons learned by following him, . For me they happen as insights as a new much better clearer way to apply his ideals, and ideas. Then once that leap is made the ripples go ever outwards.
Logically, Why argue with a god, who we accept as our creator, as our guide? Who gave his son for us, who wants us to come before him and gave us the way and the truth and the life to be able to do so.
God is an illogical concept, that only becomes logical once you begin to follow him. Reason, at least our reason is the weakest way to him. Hold the knife as Abraham did over every idea you ever held and be prepared to plunge the knife into it.
That act of obedience is actually the only logical conclusion once you know your creator, your god, a more superior thing you could never imagine or conceptualize wants that from you for your own good. His only son put it at the top of the list numerous times when he spoke.
Once you accept god exists and have even the merest idea of who he is. How does it then become logical to argue with him?
and of course Jesus, even Jesus knew that ultimately your will not mine. His theology of course is the only perfect theology.
In part two of this series we will show the ramifications of Jesus ultimate act of humility.