It's very easy to talk about wanting to be humble, having a humble attitude toward something, or acting humbly. But what does it really mean? How can we become humble? What holds us back from becoming it? So often I think I can achieve humility, and then fall flat on my face as I'm reminded that I don't have a humble bone in my body - or an ounce of drop of humble spirit in my heart.
C.S. Lewis defined humility as 'self-forgetfulness'. But how do we forget put ourselves aside?
I've just started reading Tim Chester's 'The Ordinary Hero', in which he paints a vivid picture of how vital the cross is to our humility. Referring to Jesus, he notes that 'His life shows us humility; his cross humbles us.'
He goes on to quote Martyn Lloyd-Jones, noting that 'Nothing but the cross can give us a spirit of humility,' and John Stott:
'All of us have inflated views of ourselves, especially in self-righteousness, until we have visited a place called Calvary. It is there, at the foot of the cross, that we shrink to our true size.'
Tim Chester goes on to state that, 'The secret to humility is never to stray far from the cross.' The cross shows us as we really are, in our sinful natures, and reminds us that we are pure and good enough only in Jesus Christ. Only the cross can humble us and shrink us to our true size.
But how do we not stay far from the cross? Lloyd-Jones encourages you to 'preach to yourself', applied here to literally telling yourself the truths of the cross. Bring yourself back to the cross, ponder it, remind yourself who you are in Jesus, because of Jesus, that you are sinful by nature, but wonderfully saved by Christ! I think we forget, all to easily, the beauty, wonder and scandal of the cross. Do we want to become humble? We need to look at the cross. Really look, and remember.