In his message this past Sunday Pastor Andrew shared insights from 1 Peter 5:5-11.
The first of these verses speak to us of humility: “submit yourselves”… “clothe yourselves with humility”… “humble yourselves…” Each statement puts the onus on us, not God, to do something. Essentially, that thing involves a change of mind… a repentance!
Pastor Andrew pointed out to us how a definition of humility as “self-lowering” can itself suggest a certain self-pride.
I found this thought intriguing. But I believe I see his point: one must believe oneself to be “above” in the first place if one is to “lower” oneself in the second place. Truly humble people cannot announce their own humility. Truly humble people are unaware of their humility. They are only aware of the grace and glory of God.
“Humility,” explained Pastor Andrew, is really more akin to “honesty.”
Consider the Apostle Paul’s evaluation of himself. His words focus on the grace and the glory of God, yet also reveal his humility,
For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. (1 Cor. 15:9,10)
Paul simply saw himself as a sinner saved by the grace of God, being transformed for the Glory of God, as he confessed to Timothy,
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. (1 Tim. 1:15b,16)
Pride and deceit were the devil’s original devices, the opposite of honesty is hypocrisy. Hypocrisy derives from the Greek hypokrisis “acting on a stage… to play a part, pretend.” Do you find yourself “play acting?” Do you need a “change of mind?”
Repentance is just that. It turns you toward the grace and glory of God. It moves you toward an honest underhandedness — a position “under God’s mighty hand.”
Listen to Pastor Andrew’s full message here. Look under ‘Media’ for the Feb. 10 message.