Christ's Humiliation and My Only Hope to be a Humble Man

“Where God’s Spirit does not reign, there is no humility, and men ever swell with inward pride.”

–John Calvin, Commentary on Habakkuk-Haggai, p. 52

‘Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."’
- 1 Peter 5:5

I am an arrogant man; just ask my wife and kids and anyone who knows me well. There is a vein of pride and arrogance that runs deeply through my heart. At times it’s as obvious to me as the nose on my face and at other times I cannot see it to save my life. When I’m blindly arrogant I can justify anything I want, say anything I want, and do anything I want. And when needed I can even sanctify my behavior with plenty of religious talk. In those times criticism masquerades as discernment, suspicion masquerades as genuine concern, and gossip and slander masquerade as words to the wise. And behind the mask indwelling sin masquerading as arrogance blinds me to the truth.

A number of years ago we had a dear friend who served us as our pastor. Over a length of time I began to question everything he would do. And soon I found it easy to talk about him disparagingly to others. I colored others’ impression of him. I second-guessed his intentions. I found suspicion in his motives, and generally bore him ill-will. I grossly violated the Ninth Commandment and had nary a twinge of conscience. My arrogance blinded me. Then one day I remember being convicted of my wicked behavior towards this man. God was merciful. The blindness lifted and I was able to see my arrogance and sin for what it really was. I was ashamed of the things I had thought and said and I knew I must make my confession known not only to God, but to this man. I called him and asked if we could talk and he graciously agreed. When we met later that day a dam burst. Confession and tears flowed freely. I confessed my sin toward him and asked for forgiveness. He was quick to forgive and thanked me for my confession. He was a humble man and I had been humbled by his humility. Finally I could see clearly again.

I want to be in the well-worn path of grace. I want to be in the path where God is pleased to bestow abundant mercy, in the frequently trod place where humility reigns supreme. I cannot arrive there, nor can I stay there, without a God-given apprehension of the Humble King, whose confounding humiliation on the Cross deals the death-blow to my arrogance. On my own and in my own strength I will ever and always be an arrogant man, but in casting my only hope upon the personification of humility, the God-man, I can be freed from the blinding bondage of arrogance and pride. I am a great sinner in need of a great Savior. Jesus, the humble servant Savior, is exactly who I need.

Desperate for grace, 


(Adapted from an original blog post 10/2007)

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