God has been teaching me about humility in the last year or two. And I have been asking what an authentically humble me looks like.
Yesterday, I stood in front of my church and said these words:
I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
I admit, I was embarrassed to stand up there and read these words from the second lesson of the day. I felt naked. I felt like I was confessing my own sins.
Too often, I tell myself, “I’m not so bad.” “So-and-so is a lot worse than me.” But I felt God letting me “try on” Paul’s authentic humility to see what it felt like, to let me practice being comfortable in a humble spirit.
I know that to really be used of God, I have to be comfortable saying, “I am the worst.” Not to dwell there and spiral down in shame, but to be aware of what I would really be without Him; to be aware that He is the only reason I am ever “not so bad;” to shake off the subtle arrogance that whispers, “You’re such a good girl; they’re not really talking about you;” to examine what I really believe about myself; to always and only give Him the glory.
I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord. To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.