Looking once more at 2 Chronicles 7:14; “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves……..”
“Shall humble themselves”, how do we humble ourselves? As we think about that, what is humility?
Some people think that humility is putting yourself down, but sometimes that is a subtle way of getting people to notice you.
Humility is first and foremost having a right estimation of ourselves. We are not God, but then again we are not worms either. God created mankind in his own image and we need to live up to that image. Humble people see themselves as they really are in light of God’s created order.
Humility also has a certain amount of self-forgetfulness and people who are humble do not spend a lot of time thinking about themselves.
Humility recognizes that without God we can do nothing, those who are not humble somehow believe that without them God can do nothing.
People often put themselves down to give the impression that they are humble, but deep down inside they are hoping that someone will contradict them and tell them that they are great.
Humility is better understood if we look at the converse of humility – Pride.
CS Lewis wrote; “If you want to know how much pride you have ask yourself how much you dislike it in others. If you think you’re not conceited, it means that you are very conceited indeed; first step toward acquiring humility is to realize that one is proud. We are full of pride but we can’t see it. It blinds us to our own condition. So it is wise to admit it even though you do not see it or feel it. There can be no surer proof of a confirmed pride than a belief that one if sufficiently humble.”
Pride is the original sin. Daniel Rowlands, a famous welsh revivalist said; “we most resemble the devil when we are proud and we most resemble Christ when we are humble.”
Ps 138 verse 6 says; “though the Lord is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar.”
Unfortunately there is plenty of pride among Christians. We are proud that we are saved and not like the poor sinners! (See what Jesus said about that in Luke 18 verses 9-14). We are proud that we know the Bible, we can be proud about our ability to pray or we can even be proud of our humanitarian service.