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Psst! Your Humility Is Showing

“No wonder Christians are so humble,” pondered aloud our international student friend. Knowing very little about the Bible, she had been joining Peggy and me weekly to learn about God and His gracious work in a fallen humanity. As the gospel sunk in a little bit deeper one evening, our friend made the connection—receiving everything while deserving nothing is indeed a very humbling thing. Gratitude then grows where pride once prevailed.

Truthfully, our friend’s comment took me by surprise—a pleasant surprise for sure—for I had become more accustomed to criticism from those who have yet to meet the Savior. In fact, it seems we as believers are inclined to be a little too harsh on ourselves, letting accusations define us and thereby discourage us from sharing with others the treasure we’ve found in Christ. It is true that inconsistencies between our belief and our behavior are off-putting to others and understandably so, for our moral missteps are every bit as discouraging to us. But God’s work in us does not cease at salvation; He continues to shape us into the image of Christ. The more we receive and experience the love and faithfulness of God, the more eagerly we set aside our desires for His desires and our ways for His own. This is His doing, not ours, for it is He who “work[s] in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.”1

And it shows. Our friend saw humility often enough and consistently enough among Christians that she made the association, a connection she carried in her heart. God works other traits into His followers as well: personally, it was the peace, joy, and faith of believers that caught my attention and sent me seeking the risen Christ, and perhaps it was still other godly characteristics that drew you to Him. So take heart—the Spirit of God is morphing us into the image of Christ and equipping us for His good purposes. We are not the same people we were when we entrusted our lives to Him, thankfully, so we can confidently step into the divine directive today: “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”2 How humbling the call.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:3-4)

Father, Your wisdom is unsearchable, and Your love boundless. Thank You for changing us, most often in ways we view only in hindsight. Strengthen us in the humility of Christ, that we would live, love and serve with Him today. In His name we pray. Amen.

1 Hebrews 13:21
2 Matthew 5:16

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