The Herald Bulletin

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Columns

January 19, 2013

Verna Davis: Learning humility is not a weakness

I’ve been reading Debbie Macomber’s “One Perfect Word.” It’s a little book with big meaning and even bigger challenges. It’s about what happened when Macomber and some of her friends picked one word and focused on that word for an entire year.

Then, God planted in my heart that I should write a column about humility. So I did (last week), but I couldn’t get that word out of my mind. I asked myself what would happen if I studied the meaning of and read Scriptures about humility? For the past week, that’s just what I’ve done. I’m amazed at what I’ve already learned.

We tend to think being humble is a weakness, a meekness that is degrading and shameful. We think of humility as groveling in front of others, of thinking there is nothing good about us. But to God, humility is being free from pride and arrogance. Being humble is knowing that alone, in our own flesh, we are inadequate, but with Christ, we are saved and whole.

A biblically humble person displays strength of purpose. Philippians 2:5-8 states it like this: “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death — even death on a cross.”

Humility helps defuse arguments, for biblically humble people understand that they don’t need to constantly defend themselves, nor do they have to win every argument, nor even attend every argument they are invited to!

Biblical humility helps us respond to life’s unfairness without becoming bitter. A biblically humble person never asks, “Why me?” Instead, with humility, he asks, “Why not me?”

In the church, the truly humble people know they don’t need to act like a big shot, or wield their power, or try to control things. A biblically humble person understands that the more you know God, the less you have something to prove to or impress others. Humble people can ask for forgiveness, for their pride is under control.

Humble people realize they are not wimps; they are merely trying to be obedient.

On the other hand, biblical humility doesn’t mean we are unaware of our gifts. The key is that, in humility, we regard our abilities as gifts God has bestowed on us, not as talents we have built up in ourselves. I’d rather listen to a humble singer who is flat than a proud singer who is always on pitch.

I’m writing this with tears pouring down my face. I guess what I’m saying is, I’m starting on a new journey. It’s going to take me a while to sort out all this humility business. Maybe even a whole year! Want to join me in my journey?

“Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5.)

Verna Davis, author and speaker, writes in Frankton. She can be reached at Vrdspeaks@yahoo.com.

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