The Irony of Christian Humility

Yes, I said irony.  I think it’s very ironic that the pursuit of Christian humility can sometimes lead to a bit of hubris and pride.  Allow me to explain.

Most Christians rightly understand that God desires a humble spirit.  We know that he came to save imperfect sinners, not perfect saints, and that he desires we come to him completely broken and contrite.  After all, as the apostle Paul points out, the power of his Grace is beautifully illuminated by our weakness.

The knowledge that God wants ALL Christians to be of a humble persona can, unfortunately, have some unintended consequences for us mere mortals.  It can easily cause us to start looking around to see if other Christians are indeed “playing ball.”  We may wonder (silently of course) if others are being as humble as we are.  In other words, we start engaging in the ever-popular and ever-human comparison game.

I’ll admit that I have, on occasion, stretched my neck to see how my level of “humility” scores on the humility scale when compared to other Christians.  By doing so, I’ve unknowingly (or knowingly) propped myself up over those that appear to be less humble (or worthy).

This is about the time when that little “old man” voice in my head says, “I obviously deserve God’s favor way more than that other guy who doesn’t act nearly as humble as I do…and I’ll be the first to admit it.”  Hmmmm…did I just say that?  Herein lies the irony.

In reality, when it comes to Christian Humility, the only comparison I should be making is how I, and I alone, compare to what God demands and desires.  He demands perfection.  He desires a broken spirit and a contrite heart.  It’s obvious that God knows what he is doing, because the acknowledgement of the former usually leads to the latter.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart…Psalm 51:17

When I confess that I am unworthy and can do nothing to earn God’s favor, and that it is only by his Grace that I’ve been saved, it always seems to knock me off of my proverbial perch and send me to my knees in true repentance and humility.

True Christian humility comes when I look inward and upward; it’s between me and God.  It should never cause me to look outward to see if others are doing the same.  It manifests itself when I quietly and honestly consider who I am in comparison to who he is.  It is then ultimately expressed when I privately come before The Almighty God of all creation…completely and utterly broken…and thankful.

 

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New Song About Humility – On My Knees (demo)

Speaking of humility, here is a demo of a new song I wrote that deals with this very subject.  I recently went through a few trials that caused me to deeply and honestly reflect on what it truly means to be humble before God.  Give it a listen.

On My Knees 

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