August 03, 2011

Humility - Janis Cox

I admit it – I don’t like this word – humility. It sounds wimpy. Whenever I hear the word I get frustrated because I don’t like to admit weakness. When I want something done I look for strength to pull me through – mine or God’s strength – but certainly not humility.

But I am learning more about what God means when He uses this word.
“Humble yourselves, therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time” (1 Peter 5:6).

That doesn’t sound as bad, does it? If I can put myself lower, show Christ, then God will exalt me later.

There are three things that keep me from attaining humility – self-righteousness, judgment and control.

When someone takes me to task for something that I have not done, my first notion is to get upset and try to right the wrong. Sometimes this would lead to words, not nice words either. A new way of dealing with this is to step back, let the harangue continue until spent, then don’t say a word. Something happens inside me when I work this way. My spirit stays calm, my peace stays secure and the other person feels perplexed. What just happened they say?

Lack of humility comes from being self-centred. I see that now.

Even in my judgment of others this rings true. I know I should not judge others because God will judge me in a harsher manner. Oswald Chambers (June 22) says succinctly I have no right to judge.
“The great characteristic of a saint is humility - Yes, all those things and other evils would have been manifested in me but for the grace of God, therefore I have no right to judge.”
So judgment is wound up in humility as well.

Then there is control. I like to be in control. I am a task-oriented person. Give me something to do, run or figure out and I will do it to the best of my ability. This, too, rubs against the ways of God. He wants to be in control, not me. So I need to push down my controlling nature – let God show me the way.

In all three, self-righteousness, judgment and control I am insisting on my own rights. And every time I do that I hurt the Son of God.

Oswald Chambers (July 14) says:
"Never look for right in the other man but never cease to be right yourself."
Here is the kick in the pants I need.

He also says (July 15):
"Quit praying about yourself and be spent for others as the bondslave of Jesus."
Identifying the problem helps me to know what to work towards.

How are you on the humility scale?
Jan Cox

Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number of articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. She also writes at A Better Way. Jan has written a children’s book in which she is also the watercolour illustrator. She hopes to publish it this year.


  1. This is a big area of struggle for every person, including believers. (And if they deny it, then they obviously have a problem with it!)

  2. Anonymous6:42 am GMT-7

    I read Oswald Chambers for today and He reiterated what I had written - that we need to let go of ourselves completely. We need to give up our goals and let God place new desires on our hearts. (They might be the same but we need to listen to God first.)

  3. I too need the kick in the pants badly for I struggle with all the three evils you mentioned. Thank you for flashing the mirror on to our faces to see our own blemishes.

  4. Jan, I read your posting the other day and since then, I've been mulling one comment you made... about how you've been learning to 'step back, let the harangue continue until spent, then don't say a word'.

    I LIKE that! Just let the person continue till they are spent and not respond in any way. It takes the wind right out of their sails, as that old saying goes.

    Today I found the following and it reminded me of your comment. It's something Peter says about Jesus (1 Ptr 2:23)... "when He was reviled and insulted, He did not revile or offer insult in return; When He was abused and suffered, He made no threats of vengeance: but trusted Himself and everything to Him Who judges fairly."

    Thanks for sharing the real-live example of that from your own life!


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