The grace of humility

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1 Peter 5:6-11

Humility is a Christian grace. It is a quality which makes us much like Christ and so unlike the world. And it is a grace which yields more grace. “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (v. 5)

Why does God oppose the proud?

Because the proud person is living a lie. He projects an image of autonomy. He tells himself that he is great, whereas he is not. He is merely living on grace. The proud person refuses to submit to God in his heart, even though he is always on his knees. And the submission which God values is that of the heart.

On the contrary, the humble man knows himself. He knows he is but dust and that the breath in him is just a gift.

The humble person is broken, and this is precious to God (Psalm 51:17).

We cannot resist the devil without humility. The strength to do so comes from God, and only the humble will ask (vv. 8-9).

Humility bears us up under suffering. We remember that Christ, who is our master, also suffered. And we are no better than him. Knowing also that we have no power ourselves, humility causes us to lean upon Christ for the grace to endure.

Humility makes us like Christ. For it leads us to forget our position, status, and comfort in order to be of good to others. And this was what Christ did. He took on human nature and served the poor among a despised people. Then he was publicly humiliated by the very people he was serving. Still, he did not love them any less. He knew the path of redemption lay through a cross, yet he was willing to carry it. Only the humble will do so.

We cannot fulfill our purpose without humility. Each one is called to serve others with the gifts God has given. And only the humble will serve.

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