Humble Yourself

Ever notice that 1 Peter 5:5-7 and James 4:6-10 give commentary on the same Proverb, and offer the exact same advice?

Both James and Peter reflect on Proverbs 3:34: "God mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble." And, both James and Peter give the same advice: "Humble yourself so that God may lift you up."

A lot of times we talk about "being humbled" as if humility is something that happens to us passively at the hands of another person or circumstance. That isn't the way James or Peter see it.

If you remember, both James and Peter were writing to people who were struggling under awful circumstances (1 Peter 1:6-7; James 1:2-4). If humility came through circumstances, these people would have had been poster-children already.

But Peter and James talk about humility as something we should do to ourselves. It's active.

Pride can be defined as "an unhealthy interest in ourselves." Humility is the opposite. Humility is what happens when we see ourselves the way God sees us: as empty-handed, broken people who are completely dependent on a Savior through the power of the Spirit. And it isn't something that "just happens" to us.

We need to constantly, consistently remind ourselves that we are nothing more, nothing less than "in Christ." When we actively humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord, the God with a hand strong enough to raise us from death to eternal life will lift us up in this life as well.