How Do You Spell “Humility”?

UG Rowboat

So, ummm… I’m feeling really dumb right now.

And I think God has been laughing for about a month. He’s been waiting for me to notice the lesson He put right in front of me.

Some of you might have noticed. Some of you noticed and clicked on it.

I had the most pathetic and glaring typo on my blog. It wasn’t the title (though that’s not really far off) fortunately, but it was the subscribe button.

Or as I so brilliantly put, the “suscribe” button. For weeks.

Oops.

I do almost all my work on this blog on the back-end and very seldom actually look at the front. For some reason I was looking at the layout of some photos when it caught my eye. I looked again. No, I couldn’t possibly have done something so stupid. I took a third look with really wide, unbelieving eyes. Ummm, yeah, I guess just did.

Okay, God. I’m listening; I need you.

I know it is just a silly typo and not a mistake on a grand scale, but here I am calling myself a writer and when I do something like this and it reminds me of how fundamentally broken we all are (but, specifically and mostly me).

So much of our identity can get wrapped up in what we do or have or even our pasts. It doesn’t help that when we usually first meet someone, one of the first questions we ask or are asked is “What do you do?” The truth is that we categorize ourselves with this and feel a lot of pride in it at times.

And we allow it to define us.

This isn’t always though about good things either. For a long time I let myself be defined by my fibromyalgia since so much of my life was spent dealing with it. I’ve seen other people list off their struggles like they are some sort of resume or a badge of honor; like sainthood for dealing with challenges.

Whether good or bad, we are allowing these external things to define us, to prescribe our worth, and to provide us with some sense of belonging. The problem lies therein. Our worth isn’t external.

God looks at our hearts and into our souls and the outward appearances and the physical, external things don’t matter.

In Romans 8:9, scripture says,

“You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.” (ESV)

It is a fundamental change in where our existence is rooted. We are no longer in the flesh, but in the spirit. We were dead, but are now alive in Christ. I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of trouble ascribing external worth to someone who is dead. God is life itself and thus our valuation comes straight from Him.

Humility comes from having an accurate view of ourselves in light of God. Since we are created in the image of God, we can only understand our position in relation to Him. We were dead in our transgressions, yet we are not worthless given that we were bought with the precious blood of Christ. God has valued us worth His sacrifice and this is a weighty notion for our value resides in His greatness.

It does not in my ability to create “suscribe” buttons. Not in how much we know or what we can do, thankfully. I think it is really ironic that we can sometimes fall into the trap of legalism and letting Christian culture define us rather than God Himself. Talk about losing sight of the forest through the trees and yet, we do this all the time.

God wants us to chase after Him and we can’t do that weighed down with the accolades of our culture. I always thought it was interesting that the people Jesus chose to specifically pour Himself into the lower rungs of society instead of the shining leaders. I’m pretty sure that it is because He knew humility is required to follow Him. In pride, we take the credit due Him instead; that is never a sign of loyalty or servant-hood.

It’s like the night centuries ago when Jesus walked on water out to the boat where all the disciples were. Peter wanted to go out to him and stepped out on the water and began to walk. What could have been a moment of profound glory turned into one of deep humility… deep because he sank into the waters when he became scared and failed to trust.

We need Him dearly. There can be no humility without utter trust nor can pride and trust really coexist. We must take ourselves seriously and walk in a manner worthy of the calling and yet, not too seriously if we wish to remain humble (or become so). We need to be able to honestly say, “It is all God” when we get out of the boat to follow Him.

I think in this instance, God decided to spell humility S-U-S-C-R-I-B-E.

He spells it differently for all of us, you know. The trick is taking it as it comes and turning to Him in it rather than a pity party. That’s where the real sanctification happens.

And if you haven’t already, I’d love to have you subscribe to the weekly posts. I’ve fixed the button so you don’t have to feel awkward clicking on it to support a writer who can’t spell. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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2 thoughts on “How Do You Spell “Humility”?

  1. Thank you for this post–so true and I found myself praying afterwards,” Lord, help me to let got of the external things that don’t (really) matter. I really appreciated your honest thoughts on a subject that is such a struggle for us as followers of Jesus Christ. There truly is such a freedom when we humble ourselves beneath His mighty hand.

  2. I shudder at the “What do you do?” question. I don’t really ask it because you know, do unto others. But people tend to ask me that, and I always feel like they expect me to have some great answer that shows I have a 9-5 job with benefits. But I don’t. Humility came to me when, late at night, I bawled my eyes out from a frustrated job search. God spoke into my heart and said I’m where He wants me to be. So I better just stop being scared and worrying what other people think. It’s like humble pie thrown into my face, in a God-loving way, haha. Visiting your wonderful post from Titus 2 Tuesday!

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