“… and I must become less”

19 Apr

Humility, for me is a frustrating pursuit. Not because I’m any more or less arrogant than the next guy, but because it is so elusive. It is just tough to “pin down”.

What exactly is humility anyway?

For you theologians, I found this exhaustive definition ….

HUMILITY, in the biblical world, is a value that directs persons to stay within their inherited social status, specifically by not presuming on others and avoiding even the appearance of lording over another. Humble persons do not threaten or challenge another’s rights, nor do they claim more for themselves than has been duly allotted them in life. They even stay a step below or behind their rightful status (e.g., the ‘unworthy’ John the Baptist, Mark 1:7). Thus humility is a socially acknowledged claim to neutrality in the competition of life. Conversely, to attempt to better oneself at the expense of others, to acquire more than others, to strive for honors others currently enjoy are all instances of proud and arrogant behavior. God humbles such proud people (Matt. 23:12; Luke 18:14; see Deut. 8:2, 16), while he exalts the humble (Luke 1:52; 14:7-11); hence humility has precedence over honor (Prov. 15:33; 18:12). To humble or humiliate others is to shame them (e.g., Dinah in Gen. 34:2; Isa. 2:9, 11, 17). To humble or humiliate oneself is to declare oneself powerless to defend one’s status (e.g., Phil. 2:9) and then to act accordingly—either factually by becoming powerless, like the lowborn, or ritually, by a rite in which the use of power is set aside, symbolized by behavior typical of the lowborn: fasting, rending garments, weeping, lamenting, confession (e.g., Lev. 26:41; 1 Kings 21:29; 2 Kings 22:8-20; Ps. 69:10). Such self-humiliation before God is praiseworthy (e.g., Prov. 3:34; James 4:10; 1 Pet. 5:5-6; 2 Cor. 12:21) and obtains God’s help. While Jesus is no arrogant teacher (Matt. 11:29), he does not exhort to traditional self-humiliation but simply to avoid challenging the honor of others (Matt. 23:12; Luke 14:11; 18:14), in that way acting as though one were as powerless to do so as a child (Matt. 18:4). Such humility is highly valued (Eph. 4:2; Col. 3:12). B.J.M.

… hmmm …well… er….. I’m just going to go with this one….

John 3:30 “He must become greater and I must become less.”


One response to ““… and I must become less”

  1. Kathy Drake

    April 20, 2010 at 6:29 am

    This subject always seems to come up between the Lord and me! Its a constant source of confession–I love how you’ve brought it down to just “be less” thanks!!


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