This morning I'm kind of intrigued by the idea of walking humbly with God. I have come to see, over time,that there is humble and there is 'humble looking'. A person who is wearing a coat 20 years out of style because they believe it is more humble or somehow more virtuous than to wear a newer coat--that to me seems not to be what God meant by walk humbly with your God. Mind you, I don't care if you want to wear that coat, but I also know it doesn't make you humbler than I am if I wear a newer one or vice versa. Its a coat.
Being humble is not about 'becoming humble-er' it is about recognizing your true nature and comprehending that it is a humble state already.
I often think that when God 'humbles' a person it usually means God has allowed that person to 'get it'. To see just who he really is in the scheme of things. Job I think, that's a guy that 'got it'. When God answered his questions with more questions-- 'Were you there when I...? Can you...? Job got the big picture--"This is God dude, not just some other guy--best to be quiet now."
You can't fool God--he knows what you are when nobody else does--even when you don't.
I always kind of got a kick out of something Martin Luther once said--"be a sinner." Well--that wasn't the entire quote--this post is full of partial quotes, I could find the references, but I'm doing it from memory at the moment. Anyhow I thought-- yah..(said in Minnesota accent) be a sinner. That's like telling a frog to be a frog.
Humble is an attitude of mind that says to the humble man-- you are nothing really special, you were formed from dust, to dust you will return. And yet, God values you.
God now, that's different. He is the Sovereign Lord of Glory who created you and all you see and don't see. Why should He value you?
When you grasp these few things, who you are, Who He is--and He cares about you. You can come to certain conclusions.
1. You ought to trust He knows what He's doing. 2. It would be wise to be grateful for all that He has given you--life if nothing else, (though you will almost certainly find He has given you far more. 3. You aren't better than anyone else--no matter what you do/think/say/have/give up/lose/suffer etc... there's no such thing as 'better dust' or 'worse dust'.
Actually, I think that is a big part of the Christian message -- we need God; He loves us.
This has always been one of my favorite verses:
There is nothing better for a man, than that he should eat and drink, and that he should make his soul enjoy good in his labour. This also I saw, that it was from the hand of God. Ecclesiastes 2:24
Here is what I think of it--
I don't have to 'justify' enjoying the good things in my life. They are from the hand of God. I can be happy and thankful when things are going well. Sometimes they AREN'T going so well. Like back a few years ago when we had to sell our home to avoid foreclosure. Life was just every morning H.A.R.D. That was a time that I was grateful for whatever little scrap came along. Because I had already accepted, like Job, the idea that God is God and in control, I wasn't much tempted to become bitter over it, sometimes I felt bad for us though. I knew that The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. And I had hope that someday the Lord might giveth again. Yes I had a tough time back then, but at least it wasn't compounded by feelings of anger or bitterness too. I figured God has every right to do what he saw fit with us. He's God. duh.
I think of my definition of humble as a person who knows that they are not in charge, and yet does what they can.
Jesus once said to an apostle who was picking on a woman who had 'wasted' expensive perfume on Jesus feet rather than the holier choice of giving it the poor-- "Leave her alone,..., she has done what she could." That stuck in my mind. 'She has done what she could'. Jesus knew she was in a certain set of circumstances and had done what she could in those circumstances to honor Him. He didn't let the one be holier than the other, he humbled the one who thought he knew it all and accepted the one who humbled herself.
I think humility is not a matter of possessions or estate. Some humble people rise to be rich, some are poor. Some have lots of stuff, some have few things. All are aware that God is God and they are not. That said, if a man has a great deal of stuff-- it would be wise for that one to be aware that he also has more responsibility--cuz doing 'what he could' will likely mean doing more than some can do.
I think walking humbly is the mindset behind much of my 'semi-frugal' sort of life lived in moderation philosophy.
I'm not about volunarily devesting myself of things that God has given me in order to live more humbly. I'm about being content in the now, while looking to do better if I can in the future. I live somewhat moderately, because it makes sense to me, but I don't think my moderation makes me 'more humble' its more like the humble creates the moderation.
For instance--If I have a closet full of stuff--and buy some newer things, I usually get rid of some old things at the same time--as a habit. I only have so much space and I figure someone else can use the stuff--not cuz I think it is humbler to own 6 blouses rather than 8. Generally if I have bought new things it is because I no longer like the old ones as much, they may be uncomfortable or not as suitable for my job as they used to be. I enjoy filling up the bag I brought the new clothes home in with old clothes. To me that's kind of fun. Then I take them to Goodwill usually. That isn't a thing that makes me humbler thought, its just something I like to do that goes well with my mindset, or maybe springs from it.
I do not believe old coats are humbler than new ones or tofu is humbler than chicken or beef. I believe humility is a recognition, an acknowledgement or a revelation not an attainment or achievement. I believe humble giving stems from a humble mindset, giving doesn't create humility.
He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
Another one of my favorite verses. Well, back to watching the birds and feeding the family now! ~smiles~