Week 8 Hope and Certainty
From Inadequacy to Humility
Acceptance of your utter helplessness to save or change yourself fuels dependence upon God, and thus inadequacy is transformed into humility.
hat blessed relief floods our sin-sickened souls when we finally accept that we don’t have to be sin-free to come to God; we only have to be cleansed of sin. Pride makes us strive for righteousness ahead of receiving God’s love, but humility brings a blessed willingness to be rescued. We don’t need a personal trainer who will strengthen us so that we can deliver ourselves; we need a Savior who, entirely in His own strength, will lift us out of the hopeless mess of our own sin. It is the humility of having been delivered with no contributing power of our own that enables us to be cleansed of the sense of inadequacy that results from repeated failures to save ourselves. Inadequacy focuses on self, but humility focuses on the Lord who has saved us.
We can never be right before God until we come to Christ for cleansing, and yet He loves us while we are still in sin.[i] To come to Christ for forgiveness just as we are requires the recognition that being loved is much more desirable than being right; we enter into forgiveness through the gate of His love. Because of this love that accepted us even when we were ugly with sin, we are released from the terrible and frustrating need to demand “rightness” from others. We are free to love them even if they are not right.
It seems counterintuitive that it is the humility of being completely dependent upon a Savior that paves the way for our recognition of the beauty God sees in each of us. When—driven by our own hopelessness apart from God—we draw near to Him, we begin to understand how precious we are to Him; it is His light that illuminates our beauty. The Lord has endowed every one of His children with gifts that His Holy Spirit will fan into flame as we abide in Him. We each possess an ability to bring delight to His heart through traits that are exclusively our own, and thus we are each uniquely loved by our Lord. Other human beings whose admiration and regard we crave may learn to express empathy for us (or not), but we do not need them to do so. The Creator of the universe holds us each in special regard, and His favor satisfies the deepest needs of our hearts for love and approval.
Pray: Lord, help me participate in Your grace as I learn to constantly bring my mistakes, failures, and sins to You for cleansing and forgiveness. In this way let the crushing sense of my own inadequacy be transformed into the blessed humility of having been rescued by Jesus Christ, my Savior. Father, prevent me from demanding that others are right toward me before I will accept and love them. Open my eyes to the ways I am precious in Your sight, and out of my confidence in how much You love me, help me to love others with Your love. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
We love because He first loved us.
1 John 4:19