Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Practice of Humility

UV 557/10,000 I Peter 5 v 6 The Practice of Humility “ Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.” God opposes the proud in heart but He looks with favour upon those who consciously humble themselves before Him. Humility implies lowering oneself to regard or do certain acts that are normally considered below one’s current status or position or occupation. Jesus lowered Himself from being the King of Kings to be a mere human being. The first three letters of “humility” and human are the same. It implies that we should always know and understand that we are framed from the “ humus” or dust of the earth. We should never exalt ourselves in our thoughts or imagination. Scripture exhorts us to consider others better than ourselves. Humility is a lifelong process of putting our egos to death and to be clothed instead with the grace of God. There are beliefs of humility, expressions of humility and acts of humility. To acknowledge that we are creatures and not self-created or evolved from lower forms is a belief of humility where we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of the Creator. Every morning I lie prostrate on a mat on the ground as I pray to the Lord. That is an expression of humility. Meekness of manners and attitudes makes us inheritors of the earth’s richest blessings. When we serve others particularly when it is not our bounden duty as Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, it is an act of humility. Humility is not the same as servility but it is more to do with servanthood. Humility also implies that we stand up for God in this world. When we honour Him, He honours us- this is a spiritual axiom. It is not contradictory to the concept of self –esteem. While earlier our self-esteem was based on our concept of our family, job or social status, our abilities and achievements, now our self esteem is based on the fact that the Lord esteems us as His children. As we humble ourselves more and more in our beliefs, our expressions and our actions, the Lord will exalt us more and more. When we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, He promises to raise us up in due time. The word “ exalt” means to lift up, to promote, to honour. In the world, people are exalted due to their ability to compete as well as their ability to scheme and put others down. It results in bitter rivalry and fights. But, when we humble ourselves before God, He will choose the time and place to honour us. Daniel humbled himself to seek God and to do His will in his life and God raised him up. From the first day, Daniel sought God’ s will, His favour or grace was upon him. But, in due time Daniel was promoted or exalted by successive kings. God raised him up by releasing a special gifting of the ability to interpret dreams in him. Daniel also humbled himself by placing his life at risk in incurring the king’s displeasure in not bowing to his statue. The Lord exalted him by protecting him in deadly situations. Obedience or submission to God’s will is an act of obedience. The Lord also exalts us by not allowing our enemies, spiritual or human, to triumph against us. Mordecai and Esther the Queen obeyed the Lord’s will and as a consequence, Haman fell a prey to his own machinations. Esther and Mordecai were exalted on account of the Lord’s grace. Prateep V Philip

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