Updated: Sep 11, 2021
I started using a new app that stores quotes I’ve highlighted in my kindle books. Each day I'm sent a highlight reel to look at and review. As these words are randomly shuffled and appear in my inbox, it’s been interesting to see how many different quotes I’ve taken note of which relate to the topic of humility.
If I look back further in my life, the scripture passage at our wedding was Philippians 2 and the humility of Christ. There’s a sinful tendency of pride in my life. Like a leech stuck to my toe at the beach, I need to pull it off-the sin that so easily entangles.
Scripture contrasts pride with humility, “those who walk in pride he is able to humble” (Dan 4:37) and “he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). For those who struggle with pride-and I’d venture to say we’ve all been there a time or two-learning about humility is important.
Humbled: Welcoming the Uncomfortable Work of God by David Mathis is a great place to start. It’s a short book, 128 pages, providing a ton of great truth for us to marinate in. He reminds us that humility is not “preoccupied with oneself and one’s own lowliness, but first mindful and conscious of God and his highness,”that it’s not, “self-help or a life hack, but a response to divine initiative and help.”
He explores the lives of three Old Testament kings, gleaning insight about their responses to circumstances, which we can apply when our own humbling moments arrive. See, “the invitation to humble ourselves does not come to us in a vacuum but through our first being humbled.”
One of the ways we’ve seen this invitation is, perhaps surprisingly, “conflict among those claiming the name of Christ humbles the church. It serves as a test of pride and humility.”
Conflict in the church anyone?
I think it's one reason why this book is so relevant for us today.
The question then becomes, how we will respond to the humbling hand of God as we engage with our brothers and sisters in Christ, in the midst of conflict and challenging circumstances.
While we can’t cause sanctification happen on our own, God’s initiative and ongoing grace in our lives leads us to patterns and habits which prepare us to respond with humility when the opportunity comes. Through his means of grace-reading the Word, prayer, fellowship and fasting-we are positioning ourselves for God to complete the work he has already begun in us.
“Prayer, we might say, is the quintessential act of self-humbling, as we confess to God some inability on our part, and attribute decisive power to him, and plead for his help”
Finally, he points us to the model for humility-our Saviour. The son of God, enthroned with the Father, sent to us to be beaten, humiliated and killed for our sake. He made himself nothing, accepting the cup the Father had given him, to perfect obedience.
The greatness of God can’t leave my vision. It’s beholding him and the wonders of his grace that remind me of who I am. A rescued and redeemed woman belonging to his body, his church, with whom we celebrate and await his return.
As lonely and weary as we may feel during our times of humbling, we are not alone, he is with us. It’s in this uncomfortable work we practice trust and dependence on him, we learn to show grace and love, we embed truths of the Word deep within us to remember who our God is, that we would fix our eyes on him.
“God indeed does command our humility. His hand and plan conspire to humble us, whether through pandemics of the consequences of personal sin.”
This is a book for all believers; to embrace a posture of humility and adopt habits in our lives which prepare us for the moments God’s humbling hand arrives, which will be through circumstances, conflict and consequences of sin. Check out the link to preorder it today!
# of pages:128
Level of Difficulty: Easy
My Rating: ***** = 5 stars!!
*A big thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review!