Webster’s Dictionary defines humility as “a modest or low view of one’s own importance”. C.S. Lewis once said “Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less”. As followers of Christ, both of these definitions have relevance.
Humility is a tricky characteristic. Saying, “I am a humble person” seems to negate our humility. Seeking humility seems to require us to focus on ourselves, which again runs counter to the very definition of humility. What’s a desperate, Christ reppin’ individual to do? Look to God’s Word.
In our first passage today, we read of Daniel praying for his people. Daniel begins his prayer with statements of who God is. He is awesome. He is great. He keeps covenant and steadfast love. Daniel then continues with statements of who “we” are. We have sinned. We have done wrong. We have acted wickedly. We have rebelled. We turn aside from your commandments and rules. We do not listen to your prophets. Daniel reminds us in his prayer that “To you, O Lord, belongs righteousness, but to us open shame…” (9:7a) and “To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness… (9:9a).
While this passage does not use the word “humility” it oozes with tangible evidence that Daniel was humble. Daniel understood who he/his people were. More importantly, Daniel understood who they were in relationship to who God is. This is key. When we seek to know God, when we spend time in His Word and in His presence, when we begin to realize that His greatness and love for us is unfathomable, we openly embrace our “place” in His Kingdom. We are humbled. Not because we are “checking boxes” on a “list of things to do to be humble”, but because we have encountered holiness. We have encountered mercy. We have encountered forgiveness. We have encountered grace and these encounters have changed our lives!!!
Through these encounters with our Father, we begin to innately understand our own importance. We begin, through the power of His Holy Spirit living in us, to be able to obey the commands of our second passage today. Judge not. Condemn not. Forgive. Give. We think of ourselves less and we think of others more. We seek to love well because we understand what the love of Christ has done for us. Our cup is full and we are splashing it all over the people with whom we interact. We are living in humility.