Monday, July 21, 2014

Grace and humility

Proverbs 3:34 ESV: Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he gives favor.

James 4:6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

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

Christian author, Jerry Bridges, mentions in his book, The Discipline of Grace, that the trait of humility, in regards to a Christian life, occurs nearly forty times in the Bible. Humility is not a highly regarded trait in American society. Our nation was founded, in part, by European immigrants who were seeking freedom from religious persecution, and seeking the right for the common man to have a voice in government. The dignity of the common man is a very popular theme in the history of our nation, and pulling up ourselves by our own bootstraps is a cliche` that often represents the American ideal of responsibility and success. Americans applaud the self-made man. It is no wonder that humility is not highly valued in our culture, and that other cultures often view Americans as arrogant and proud. Whether or not humility is a part of American culture, God's word well documents that grace is best received by a humble heart, and it is important that we consider humility in our Christian walk. The paradoxical truth is God's grace imparts power in our lives, but in order to receive God's power, we must become nothing, and He must become everything. Only in humility can we receive the true grace and power from God.