“Humility gets God’s attention. In Isaiah 66:2 we read these words from the Lord: ‘This is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.'” (Humility: True Greatness by C.J. Mahaney, p 19)
Humility, genuine God-driven humility, draws God’s gaze. In a performance based world it can become easy to try to earn grace and God’s attention through activities. Don’t misunderstand me, I am not for a couch-potato Christian life nor am I anti-activities. But we too often miss verses like the one from Isaiah, a verse that is crucial to Christians. Having a genuine humility as defined by the Bible is something that God treasures and something that He pays attention to. C.J. Mahaney develops this thought some more in his book Humility:
God is decisively drawn to humility. The person who is humble is the one who draws God’s attention and in this sense, drawing His attention means also attracting His grace – His unmerited kindness. Think about that: There’s something you can do to attract more of God’s gracious, undeserved, supernatural strength and assistance!
What a promise! Listen to this familiar passage again for the very first time: ” God…gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). Contrary to popular and false belief, it’s not “those who help themselves” whom God helps; it’s those who humble themselves (pp 20-21).
The problem with humbling ourselves is that sometimes we take pride in our humility, develop a self-righteous view of humility, or feel humble are we compare ourselves to other sinful and fallen human beings. The Bible is a great tool to help adjust our definition of humility to God’s definition. This begins with seeing God as He is and then under His light seeing who we are at our core. Mahaney opens this thought up as follows:
Our definition of humility must be biblical and not simply pragmatic, and in order to be biblical it most begin with God…That’s where the following definition can help us: Humility is honestly assessing ourselves in the light of God’s holiness and our sinfulness.
That’s the twin reality that all genuine humility is rooted in: God’s holiness and our sinfulness. Without an honest awareness of both these realities…all self-evaluation will be skewed and we’ll fail to either understand or practice true humility. We’ll miss out on experiencing the promise and pleasures that humility offers” (pp 21-22).
In the coming days and weeks there will be more installments along the lines of humility (and possibly other topics) that are addressed and read about in this summer’s 10 week long Columbus Ministry Workshop.