Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Forgotten Virtue

Humility is a forgotten virtue in our culture. We tend to be about self-promotion and self-assertion. But God commands humility (Romans 12:16; James 4:6,7; Mark 10:43-45). Now humility is not putting ourselves down; it is putting ourselves in right perspective before God. It is recognizing that we are sinners (Romans 3:23; Jeremiah 17:9; Isaiah 64:6), saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8,9; Romans 4:4,5; Philippians 3:9). The result is that, rather than putting ourselves down, we are building others up (Philippians 2:3,4; Romans 12:10; Matthew 7:12), based on confidence in our relationship with God (Romans 8:31-39; Galatians 4:4-7; 1 John 3:1,2). But pride is destructive (Proverbs 16:18; Galatians 5:15; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7). Nowhere is this more clearly seen then in community. And it can be very subtle. We can convince ourselves that we are defending what is right or what is best for the congregation when what we are really concerned about is defending our ego. It is often difficult to have the right perspective on this, but the first line of defense is to realize that humility is right and pride is wrong. For until we do, there is always a danger of pride wreaking its havoc in our midst, with nothing to hold it in check.

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