S107P10 – At work within us: humility

1 Pet. 5:5-7

Likewise, you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

As a child, he was used to excelling in everything he did.  Whether it was sports, academics, or simple social engagement, he just had no trouble being a success.  What he found from an early age was that his ability to excel brought with it certain favor and privilege.  If a teacher needed special help from a student, he likely would be that student.  It was the same for him at church and at home.  What this taught him was that he could expect this kind of favor and privilege all the time.  He failed to realize that it really was a blessing and not something he necessarily earned or deserved.  This pride of entitlement would rear its ugly head once he moved from that community to a new town and found that he was treated no better than anyone else regardless of his past successes.

Lessons in humility can be very necessary and important for our spiritual growth, but we can shy away from the process because of the position in which these lessons place us.  Humility does its work in us by forcing us to view ourselves in a clear light.  Humility has no filter.  When I walk humbly, I cease to view myself through the lens of my abilities and achievements.  I strip away the mountain of good attributes that would make me think that I am better than you or him or her.  What I am left with is the heart of myself, the bare bones of who and what I am.  When I see myself this way, I realize that we all start this journey with the same base.  Outside of the ornaments we collect in life to elevate and adorn ourselves, we are all the same dust and breath. 

Sometimes we have a difficult time walking in humility because we know that it will force us to bite our tongues and treat others as better than ourselves.  We might think that we do not have the grace to occupy that lowly position when we desire to be higher than that.  The truth is that God gives grace to the humble, as we are taught here.  We can forget about how it might make us feel to occupy that lowly place.  We can forget about how others might see us when we are there.  We simply do not need to care about anything but walking in the humility God desires because He will elevate us in his good time.  Father, use the work of humility to grow us spiritually and give us character that resembles yours.