Humble yourself

When I was a young Christian my one constant prayer was for wisdom. I got that from Solomon, among other sources. But although God granted Solomon wisdom, his wisdom led to riches, riches led to fame, his fame to many women, and his many wives to the idolatry of the world around him.

I noticed later in my Christian walk that the one thing I should have been praying for was self-control: Titus 2:6. Apparently I had wisdom beyond my years as an early and late teen, but I was nonetheless godless in my impatience and lack of discipline. I needed one big holy dose of Spirit-led self-moderation.

I still need self-control, but I've grown in that area too. I've now grown up in many ways. I've now got a beautiful and large family and a nice home, a great job and quite a descent salary, and lots of commitment, responsibility and 'importance'. Now my real and ever present threat is pride. And the danger of going backwards in godliness because of apathy and spiritual lethargy.

What I need is humility. And so for a long time that's the one thing I've been praying for. I need God to humble me, right? It's a scary thought, and a scary prayer.

But this morning I noticed something significant in Matthew. Matthew 23:12 says, "those who humble themselves will be exalted".

I've been praying that God would humble me. What God says is that I should humble myself. It's a subtle but significant difference.

Actually, what I need to do is actively make that step myself. I need to get on with it myself, and get down to it - with his enabling of course. I need to start serving more. I need to role up my sleeves, and start taking more of a role in 'washing the feet' of those around me.

As Paul said of Christ, who 'humbled himself' (Philippians 2:5), I need to follow his example of self-domotion. And for that I need even more help because I've got to do it, a proud apathetic, self-reliant, lazy and contented sinner such as me!

Wisdom, self-control, humility. My one constant prayer today is that God would help me to humble myself.

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