To know and walk with Christ intimately, a believer must develop and assume a spirit of humility. Humility may hold unpopular status in the world system. However, for true Christians developing a life of humility is imperative if we want to share in the presence of Christ.
Preparing to write a review for him on Amazon the other day, I read through my dad’s latest book, Accepting Goodbye — Living the Full Life. In his book, I found a most beautiful image of humility. While some may accuse me of sounding a bit morose in sharing the illustration, that is not my intent. My intent is to learn and live in a soul posture that welcomes Christ’s presence. This illustration does just that:
“Jeffrey Piehler wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times published Feb. 1, 2014 entitled, Ashes to Ashes, But First a Nice Pine Box. Piehler was a retired doctor with terminal cancer. He entertained the unusual idea of building his own coffin. The idea originated from his attending an elaborate funeral of a young man cremated in an expensive, fancy box. On the contrary, the doctor wanted his coffin to be simple and constructed of pine.
During the project, Piehler was assisted by a man who initially he would not have been drawn to. Yet, during their time together surprisingly they bonded and enjoyed many meaningful discussions. At the same time, his family resolved their shock at his intentions, accepted the fact that he wasn’t off his rocker and then celebrated with him his willingness to initiate and complete the daunting task.”
Needless to say, the brave endeavor permanently altered his soul posture. This project, Piehler said, “has smoothed the rough edges of my thoughts. It’s pretty much impossible to feel anger at someone for driving too slowly in front of you in traffic when you’ve just come from sanding your own coffin.” What a profound posture of humility.
“Coveting material objects, holding on to grudges, failing to pause and see the grace in strangers–all equally foolish. While the coffin is a reminder of what awaits us all, its true message is to live every moment to its greatest potential.”
In his comments, Piehler alludes to Scriptural principles. Entanglement with sin, the pride of life and the lures of the world distract us from remembering and surrendering to life in the Spirit. However, when we see ourselves as Piehler does from God’s perspective –here today and gone tomorrow– we are invited to abide with God living in dependency on and celebration of His Lordship over all that we are and ever will be.
Living with your mortality in mind keeps you living in God’s economy. That spirit of humility is simply a game changer. Such soul posture causes you to leave behind the world’s economy and your own delusions. Instead of using the word morose to describe Piehler’s illustration, I would use the word humility because that’s what it produces in the soul. Humility is depending moment by moment on God when you know He holds your very life in His hands.
What is humility?
Why is it so important in God’s economy?
How can we develop a spirit of humility?
How will that benefit us?
How will it benefit others?
How will it glorify God?
Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
James 4:6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”