Humility: The Vital Trait
It is probably safe to say that humility is the one character trait that will enable us to be all that Christ wants us to be. Without humility, we cannot come to God. Without humility, we cannot truly love and serve God. Without humility, we cannot truly love and serve others. A lack of humility will render us unable to communicate properly and will prevent us from resolving conflicts that are sure to come in our lives. In short, we must understand, embrace, and live out true humility in order to truly live and to be who God means for us to be for the magnification of His glory. That is why Scripture says:
God opposes the proud
but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6b NIV)
Now, let me make this clear at the outset– I am not writing this today as someone who is under the delusion that I have somehow ‘mastered humility’. I’m not claiming to be an expert on this subject, as if I perfectly understand and perfectly apply everything God has revealed about being humble. Rather, as C.J. Mahaney has said, “I’m a proud man pursuing humility by the grace of God… [I’m] a fellow pilgrim walking with you on the path set for us by our humble Savior.” As the Apostle Paul wrote, “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me” (cf. Phil. 3:12 NKJV).
->And so I would now like to share with you a story– a parable that Jesus told about humility.
->Hear the words of Jesus, our Lord:
Luke 18:9-14 (ESV):
He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: "Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.' But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted."