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Chapter 9 - Maintaining Humility
One of the surest ways to fall short in our Christian walk is to allow the self to regain ascendance. The way to keep this in check is to constantly be maintaining a grip on humility. This is done with a ruthless view of truth as applied to ourselves.
Many people embrace truth as long as it exposes only the shortcomings of others. The Christian is called to a level of honesty that the self finds repulsive.
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. - Romans 12:3
The flesh finds pride a much more comfortable sensation than humility and as a result will seek to advance pride at every opportunity. While truth can make us humble, the discomfort of seeing ourselves as we really are can be mitigated not by pride, but by gratitude for Him who loved us even in our state of wretchedness so much that he laid his life down for us.
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. - Romans 5:8
Here the discomfort of truth is not resolved with the comfort of delusion (pride), but with further truth that connects us directly to our Savior through gratitude for his mercy and love.
The reason humility needs to be constantly exercised is that we have a tendency to forget the truth about ourselves.
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. - James 1:22-24
Here we also see the importance of the Christian life lived in action. It helps to sustain our perspective of truth. When we put Christianity into practice, we are acknowledging it as the thing we value most. This alignment brings us more into alignment with God and thus able to receive constant truth from him that does not fade. In a way we can see this proximity to God as the means whereby we can be constantly 'renewed'.
Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. - Psalm 55:22
For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. - 2 Corinthians 4:16
It is through humility that more grace can flow to us from God. By maintaining humility we keep this critical door open.
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; - Titus 2:11-12
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