My husband once quoted his friend and said humility comes through humiliation. At the time I disregarded the statement not truly understanding it. A recent experience brought this saying to life for me.
Looking back through old journal entries, even old blog posts takes me to a place of humiliation. It’s interesting to see how much I have changed since those times. Most times I cringe at the things that I wrote, or the attitude in which they were recorded. “How immature” i think, “how condescending”. Journaling and blogging permit you to look back and see what God has done, how you have grown, and how he has changed your heart. Blogging would probably have to be the most humbling of the two since everything is right there for the world to read. Sometimes it’s hard to read through these things because of how dumb they are. There are moments where the embarrassment doesn’t take long to seize me. Any way humility is a gift.
This past weekend as I was speaking to a friend, I remembered the last time that we had really spent time together. I remembered her saying “You sound very wise”. As i spoke to this friend again, I thought to myself and prayed “God let me not think myself wise”. I don’t ever want to feel like I have arrived, or as though I am better than anyone else. It’s an ugly false thing. I prayed that, not really expecting what would happen next. Later that day another friend and I had a discussion that we had planned on having. We had some things that needed to be communicated. I said my part, and then came hers. I was confronted for things that I had said and done. Humiliation. The things that I do wrong were listed plainly. The manner in which it was done was not the best but these things were true nonetheless. God is able and willing to move through the shortcomings and failures of his people, and He did. As she spoke I listened and tried to process these things. There was great sorrow. Sorrow over my sin. It didn’t offend me, it saddened me. In this I was reminded of Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Here Jesus is speaking of those who mourn over their sin. There is so much joy in this pain. It is good. God is faithful. If there is anything I desire, it is that I would be more like Christ. Humility is a means and beginning to that. My sin was exposed, it was shown to me, quite plainly in fact. Humility can be painful, right in the pride. OUCH. Painful yes, fruitful of course. Sorrow over sin is good, it produces true repentance through the Holy Spirit. I am on the pursuit of holiness and purity. This pursuit is not an easy one, but Jesus is worthy. The only one worthy in fact.
“7But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ.8Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.” Philippians 3:7-11.
A few weeks back, I read through Philippians, and for the first time I felt that I could claim verses 7 & 8 with true conviction. Here is where it comes full circle. Jesus is worthy of more than we could ever give. The process of sanctification is long and at times painful. My God is so gracious and gentle. Through this experience I’ve been challenged and also reminded that I need to be patient with myself and the process of undoing and sanctification.
We all have things that we carry with us, namely sin. Things that have been inbred in us, bondage that has been placed over us by ourselves or our families. These things take time to undo, time to be healed and time to be freed from.
Be patient child of God, and pursue godliness.
7Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; 8for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
Godliness is of eternal value. Heavenly treasure.