One of the most brilliant “colors” on the Christian palette is the virtue of humility. To clad ourselves in so colorful a garment is a most unfashionable thing in this fallen world. In a day when the whole world marches in self’s parade, it is a rare thing indeed to refuse to join the band so that you can prance in the parade and toot your own horn. It is so rare in fact that this precious virtue is fast becoming an artifact absent from our present-day world and only found in the museum of bygone days.
In addition to its modern-day scarcity, there is the additional problem of humility’s elusiveness. It has been astutely observed that humility is the hardest virtue to acquire, since you lose it the moment you think you’ve got it. For instance, a friend of mine once absurdly boasted, “I’m so humble, I’m proud of myself!”
Any attempt on our part to disparage self only serves to make it the center of our attention. Whether we are codling it or choking it, we still can’t keep our hands off of it. In the end, all attempts on our part to deliver ourselves from being wrapped up in ourselves only serve to entangle us in the folds of the very garment that we’re attempting to toss out.
What we need is an escape from ourselves. Whereas pride is the vice of those who go through life looking down—looking for things inferior to themselves—humility is the virtue of those who go through life looking up—looking for something superior to themselves. When our focus is on things inferior, pride is the natural consequence. We are puffed up by our superiority. However, when our focus is on something superior, humility is the natural consequence. We lose ourselves in the sublime and become unconsciously self-forgetful.
To clad ourselves in the comely robe of humility simply requires diverting our attention from self to the Savior. To behold the glory of God in the face of Christ blinds us to ourselves and leaves us enthralled in Him. There will be no strutting by us in His presence, but lowly bowing in a self-consuming adoration!
Humility is not discovered with our hands around self’s throat. Instead, it is found when we kneel at Christ’s feet. There is no pride to be found in the presence of Christ, only humility. That which is so plentiful on earth (pride), is nonexistent in Heaven. And that which is so scarce and elusive on earth (humility), is everywhere and commonplace in Heaven.