We’ve heard it so many times that hearing it again does little for us except maybe to cause us to question how many times I have exalted instead of humbled myself. The next obvious concern might be what it truly means to “humble myself.” If the least shall be the greatest and I work hard at making myself the least without genuine humility then am I not still guilty of exalting myself in my humility? (You might have to read that sentence again.)
True humility is elusive because as soon as we think we have it… we don’t. (Think about that one, too.) The problem arises out of our comparative natures. We seem to need benchmarks in our fallen condition. If we took the concept of quarterback ratings and applied it to Christians what would it look like? Jesus is often referred to as just or righteous. If we need a benchmark, let it be Him. That’s not fair you say because He is God. Then how about His mother and her great prayer of humility: The Magnificat.
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for He has looked with favor on His lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is His Name.
He has mercy on those who fear Him in every generation.
He has shown the strength of His arm, He has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of His servant Israel for He has remembered His promise of mercy, the promise He made to our fathers, to Abraham and His children for ever.
When we see the Grace of God working through us and in us, when we see our own righteousness as coming from Him and not of our own making, then do we begin to approach true humility.