True Humility1 Corinthians 15:10a
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect.
Thoughts for Today:We know Paul was humble as we have seen in the previous verses (1 Corinthians 15:8-9). However, there is a big difference between Paul's type of humility and the false humility we see so prevalently displayed today. Humility is not our refusal to see or say anything good about ourselves. Paul knew who he was and accepted all the authority that came with his position and accomplishment. He just didn't feel like he deserved it -- which he didn't. Why? Because it was a gift.
I was working the other day with a man on a service project. He was a little difficult to work with because he had such a negative outlook on just about everything. He even kept his face screwed up into a tight pinch, as if he had just taken a bite of something really bitter. I tried joking around a little, trying to get him to squeeze out a smile, but nothing worked. Finally, I took a direct approach. I said, "Hey, what's the problem? Where's the joy? We're out here working for the Lord, it's a great day, and we have the opportunity to be a blessing to someone who needs our help. Shouldn't we be celebrating?" The man looked at me as if I were from a different planet. He said, "You don't know what I've done, where I've been, or what I've been through, so don't expect me to be happy. I've done some horrible things in my life." I said, "But are you saved? Have you asked Jesus to be your personal Lord and Savior?" His eyes welled with tears as he nodded. I said, "Then it's okay to be joyful. We shouldn't forget about our past and the pain we've caused, but it doesn't mean we need to beat ourselves up for the rest of our lives. If we do, we'll never know the peace God promises."
I won't say the man changed miraculously into a joy-filled person, but there was a slight difference in his demeanor. He no longer looked as if he was preparing for a beating at any moment. True humility is not self-debasing, self-hatred, nor denial of accomplishment and joy. It is simply an awareness that what we have and what we have been given is a gift of God. Therefore, only those who acknowledge the mercy, grace and love of God can operate in true humility.
Questions to Ponder:What is the source of your humility? Is it an attitude you put on around your Christian friends, or is it the deep felt knowledge that everything you have and are is a gift from God?