The Grace & Truth Blog

all about Jesus, where grace and truth meet

Of Heroes and Humility

What characterizes one as heroic? An examination of the heroes of film or the sports icons of today would lead one to conclude that they are admired because of their confidence, strong-will, and inflexibility. We know that it takes a great deal of strength to overlook personal weaknesses and confidently face opposition. Therefore, we often crave that same heroic status for ourselves and admire men like Muhammad Ali, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, and Caesar Augustus. We wonder what gives them such strength, and conclude that it is pride that strengthens men.

The Bible however comes to the opposite conclusion. It warns us that pride comes before the fall. It is pride that will lead to destruction and it is the meek who will inherit the earth. Yet, we wonder how can one be triumphant if they are supposed to be clothed in humility? We question because we have been polluted by the wisdom of the world. Since the world has forsaken God, it discredits His sovereignty, power, and authority. It knows that in the absence of God, strength must be found in one’s self.

However, God is real and his existence debunks the conclusion that one must be proud in order to be successful. Because God exists, and is in sovereign control over all things, we will find success only in submission to Him. Anything opposed to the will of God will ultimately lead to defeat. God does not compromise with man and therefore man must submit to God. This submission to the will of God is humility. Yet, it is not simply submission in deed but in heart as well. God can look into the heart of man and will not be fooled by our actions. True humility is subjecting our wills, desires, thoughts and actions to the rule of King of Glory. And in this subjection, we will find success, nobility, and strength.

Humility is not teachability, tenderness, or compromise- although these things might accompany it. Humility in its purest form has nothing to do with our disposition before man. It has everything to do with our response to God. Humility is not concerned about self because it understands that self has been sold to the King. It cares little of man’s opinion, because its service is to God and not man. Christ demonstrated his humility in allowing himself to be reviled even though he was God. Yet, he showed an equal amount of humility in being uncompromising with the truth. Christ came to do the will of him who sent him, not his own. He would not compromise on truth, or defend himself from insults, because he had emptied himself of everything except what the Father willed.

Humility will call us to be strong and uncompromising, but it will also call us to tenderness and teachability. It may call us to be trampled upon and spat at, or it may call us to draw our swords. God calls us to suffering and to delight. Humility delights to do either, depending upon which God would call us to for the moment.