Release from Self-condemnation

Devotions for those who are weary of feeling not good enough, regardless of the source of those feelings.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Alive to Humility

Day 96

Alive to Humility

Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
1 Peter 5:5


Our Lord treasures us as His precious children—each one of us is uniquely beloved—but we must not mistake His love for us as evidence of superiority.

Those who fall to the deception that superiority to others is the best way to avoid rejection will also don false humility, which is pride in disguise. We may even adopt a habit of groveling because, as a result of carefully crafted self-promotion, we assume others feel jealous or inferior. False humility actually communicates this message: “I know I’m better than you and I’m trying to put you at your ease.” We thus become a danger to those we ought to be shepherding with Christ’s love.

We don’t need to change or subdue our personalities; each human personality is a unique and multifaceted jewel, created by God, and we are indeed precious in His sight. However, we do need a willingness to release persona, which is something very different. Personality is who we were created to be, while persona is who we want other human beings to think we are. 

The Lord asks us to consider an exchange of our public personas for that of Christ Jesus. In His human form, Christ was inoffensive (until He stood up to preach) because of His humility. He asks us also to be inoffensive in humility, to defer to the desires of others, and let others take the lead unless He otherwise directs. We are always to identify with His purposes and not our own, and love is our rule. We get in trouble when we stand under His banner while promoting our own agendas. 

Humility and humiliation are two very different things. We are enabled to more willingly ask for the gift of humility when we do not confuse the two or believe that the Lord intends us the harm of humiliation. Humility is a virtue adopted by choice; it is a determination to put the needs of others ahead of one's own. By contrast, humiliation is like a weapon in the hand of a bully. When other people seem to assume that everything about them is of greater importance and value than anything about us, the Lord isn't in this. He will never tell us that we are less important to Him than someone else. 

Considering others better than ourselves does not mean we are unaware of their sins, but that we trust the Lord for our needs and thus do not need to fight for our own rights. It becomes safe for us to consider others ahead of ourselves, because we trust the Lord to be our defender. Humility, for a Christian, is not a choice to be inferior, but rather is an outward expression of the confidence we have in Christ to take care of us. God does not want us to see ourselves and our needs as being of less worth than those of others. He want us to rest in the confidence that we are of great value to Him, and that He will not forsake or forget us. We have food of which they know not. 

May our interactions with our fellow human beings be governed by the humility of the knowledge that we are beloved for who we are in Christ, but saved by His goodness and not our own.   

Pray: Lord, I’ve felt so stung by rejection that I have tried to protect myself by proving that I’m superior to others. Please forgive me and heal damage I have caused. Teach me more of Your love for me and help me to rest in Your acceptance so that I lose my craving for acceptance from human beings. I pray for Christ’s humility to be apparent in me, and to be protected from the devil’s plans to bring me humiliation. I pray for the confidence in You that will free me to think of myself less.  And I ask for wisdom to let go of spending my energy on things that are temporary so I may be freed to invest in things that are eternal. Lord, align me with Your purposes, and be in the ways others view me. In Jesus’ Name I pray, amen. 


…Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.”
1 Corinthians 1:30-31 NLT

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.

2 Corinthians 4:7

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