Smeagol is Free!
A hermitudinal view of...stuff...


No Good

Like most people, the things I enjoy also tend to be the things I'm good at. After all, what well-adjusted, mature individual likes to engage in activities that are predominantly frustrating? Certainly not I. (Incidentally, this post is not serving as a claim to my being either well-adjusted or mature, as those terms were used merely to make a point.) I like playing frisbee; I think it's safe to say that I can hold my own out on the field. I also find reading to be enjoyable. Way, way back during the last century, used to drive my high school English teachers batty with the torrent of reading I'd do during a school year. Why's that? 'Cause I'd read everything but what was assigned me, and when I did venture into reading the assigned work, I'd do it at the wrong time. Volleyball is yet another activity I'd say I have some skill at. Do I enjoy it? Darn right I do! And let's not forget clothing. The feel of fabric, the complementing of colors, the cut of a garment; these are all things that get my creative juices flowing, and despite the good-natured Metro-mocking I get from time to time, I still enjoy a good fabric-feeling session every now and again.

What's the point of all this? An observation I made earlier today: Humility, while not being something I am particularly good at, is a necessary facet of our lives in Christ that nevertheless brings me joy. Why this apparent contradiction of my opening statement? I have an inkling as to exactly why, but before I go into that, a few words concerning my humility (or lack thereof) are in order.

Humility is tough. 1 Peter 5:5 reads, "You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble." When I read that verse yesterday, that last line stuck with me. God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. When I am prideful, the Lord is opposed to me. Yes, He still works all things for my good, but there is a definite grace that I am missing out on. And yet, although the verse and its immediate context do not infer this, I would think that the entire context of Scripture points toward a gracious humbling that the Lord works in our lives when we are proud. This humbling, in essence, could be seen as the Lord's being "opposed" toward those whom He loves. Hosea 6, Hebrews 12, and Lamentations 3 are but a few of the passages that point toward the Lord's opposition that leads us into sweet humility. Still, for those whose hearts are hardened entirely toward the things of God, the Lord's opposition is not to be trifled with.

Despite all of this, I still struggle mightily with pride. No matter how much I think I clothe myself with humility, pride sneaks into my wardrobe again and again and again. What's horrible about being prideful is that it does not satisfy. Pride is a cheap lie that is easily obtained, yet still manages to render costly damage to our souls. When I have feasted upon pride and am quite full of myself, I feel like I've eaten nothing but cotton candy for a week. Sure, the first nibble or two may have been sweet, but everything after that made me want to barf. Bleh.

Which brings me to the reason I like humility. I'm still not very good at it; quite frankly, I stink at it. But you know what? Humility looks good on me. That's not my opinion; it's God's truth. Humility is the grace of God in Christ that is the outward manifestation of the bowing of our hearts before the Almighty. We were made to be humble! That's why it looks good on us. It looks right. The original design that our Creator had for us included humilty, but sin stained that with an irrevocable and irremovable pride. In Christ, however, that stain of pride is taken away. Humility feels so good because that's what we were created for. I'm reminded of Eric Liddell's famous assertion: "I believe God made me for a purpose. He also made me fast. And when I run, I feel his pleasure." When I think about humility, I think of the ways that we are made to be humble. I may not be good at it, but it's what I was made for.

posted by Bolo | 5:46 PM
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