Monday, August 28, 2006

Lost Art of Loving God, Part Six: Humility

Overheard on Christian radio yesterday, as part of a program counting down (or “counting up” as they say) the top Christian hits: “Coming up, you’ll hear our number one artist being really humble about it!” (Cue as-yet-unnamed artist saying that his band is just glad to have the opportunity to do what they do, etc.)

Do we know the real value of humility?

Humility must be cultivated at all times, including when we approach God’s word. We should arrive with humility and leave with greater humility. Bible reading alone doesn’t guarantee spiritual growth – you may grow, but only in knowledge or pride! Therefore I believe that to rightly understand and benefit from Scripture, we should examine each passage with a view to humbling ourselves before God with respect to that passage’s basic message.

Humility involves repentance – recognizing that you have not lived up to God’s will. It also involves recognizing that only through Jesus Christ can we continue to approach this God whom we have sinned against. Humility acknowledges our disease; humility receives God’s cure. It is sorrowful, yet joyful.

These recent posts have given fairly specific suggestions regarding Bible reading. I have worked on the assumption that being spiritually disciplined is a good thing, and is far different from being legalistic. Yet legalism is always on the prowl. How easy it is to think we’re spiritual because we’ve opened the Bible a few days in a row! We must constantly combat this ridiculous notion.

I believe J.I. Packer said all of this with greater brevity. He said that each person is either more hardened or more softened each time he reads God’s word (or hears God’s word preached, for that matter). By God’s grace, may we not be hardened, but humbled.

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