God requires humility
‘He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.‘ (Micah 6:8)
There are two elements to this command. Firstly, we’re invited to walk with God. In scripture terms, walking together frequently refers to being in a relationship which, in turn, implies spending quality time together. Do we do this or do we neglect our private time devotions in favour of less important things?
It’s amazing that we’re accorded the privilege of walking with God. After all, He is the omnipotent, omniscient and eternal God. And what are we? I’m reminded of David’s awe and perplexity in the face of the vastness of space;‘When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?’ (Psalm 8:3-4) It’s a good question and one we’d do well to consider on a regular basis.
The second element to this command is that, alongside this privilege, there comes an important condition; we are to walk humbly with God. Dictionary definitions accentuate humility – the quality of being humble – as a low self-regard and sense of unworthiness. Not exactly a common human trait!
The opposite of humility is pride and it’s an ugly sin that God despises. ‘The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: they will not go unpunished.’ (Proverbs 16:5)
Pride pervades most things we do including how we walk with God. It’s perfectly legitimate to be grateful for and take pleasure in the good things that God grants us; love, family, health, education personal achievements and even material benefits. But remember all good things are God’s gift – not our right. We certainly should be grateful but never proud.
The Bible makes it clear that pride is an abomination to God but that He rewards humility. ‘When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.’ (Proverbs 11:2)
‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ (James 4:6)
So how do we mitigate our tendency towards pride? ‘Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.’ (James 4:10)