Recognizing the God-Gap
The humble will be exalted, and the exalted will be humbled, Jesus promised. Matthew 23:12
I was a new Christian when I began attending UCLA, and I still remember feeling confused when I heard people praying for humility. How would you know when your prayers were answered? Were you supposed to simply act humbly? Refuse compliments? Dress in a plain white shirt and black slacks? Never call attention to yourself? As I pondered these questions, it seemed to me that people trying to be humble (like me) were ending up taking pride in the fact that they were more humble than others, which defeated the whole purpose of acting humbly in the first place!
At its very core, humility is found in men who recognize this gap between us and God. No matter how smart we are, he is smarter — infinitely smarter. No matter how many accomplishments we have to our credit, He created the universe. No matter how many war stories we can tell that demonstrate our courage, He displayed more courage and humility going to the cross for sinners. No matter how forgiving, generous, or loving we can be to others, He possesses all of these qualities in endless measure. Coming face to face with God should lead a man into the only appropriate attitude, which is one of humility. Since we can’t brag in His presence, we should listen and learn quietly.
In the end, God’s man doesn’t have to pray for humility as much as he needs to remember his place. God is like a craftsman, wielding full control over His tools to build and create, asking us for freedom and control to practice His master craft within us. It’s humbling to be worked on by others, but in God’s case, it helps to remember that He is bigger, smarter, and stronger. Understanding His heart inclines God’s man toward true humility.
Father, what an example of humility you are to me.