The funny thing about humility is that once you realize you have it, you don’t. You lose it. This is something that was said to me after another person heard me comparing myself and elevating myself to other people. I was not being humble. Jesus himself says in the parable in Luke chapter eighteen verse, nine through 14.
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable.
The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 18:11-14)
Are you like this, Pharisee? Comparing yourself to others? Elevating yourself, but really blind to your own prideful sin. In fact, the pride which blinds you of your imperfections between you and your neighbor and even more importantly, God. See God is divine and holy and requests and requires perfect righteousness which means you have to have perfect humility. Rather, we should be like the tax collector who confesses his sin before God, recognizing the depth of our sin saying “Lord have mercy on me a sinner.”
But why should we confess that we can’t even hold on to it? It’s because Jesus Christ went to the cross and on that cross he suffered for our pride. He even die for it. So that in fact, in his perfect humility, he would justify us before God the Father, so that we would be found humble through Christ.
If we boast in anything, let us boast in the work of our Lord Jesus Christ and what he has done for us upon the cross and how he has created in us a new humility through the forgiveness of sins and with the promise of life and salvation. And then in Christ and Christ alone, we see that we are exalted now and will be exalted for ever. Amen.