The Logic of Humility

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Someone once said, “No one stands at the edge of the Grand Canyon and says, ‘I am awesome.’” Why not? Because when we are confronted by that which is immense and sublime, we are designed to feel at least two things: (1) our own smallness, and (2) the assurance that something huge and powerful is “out there.”

Among many other things, this impresses upon me the foolishness of arrogance and the necessity of humility. There is a very real logical basis for being humble. Being humble is logical: 

“The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate” (Proverbs 8:13).

“Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished” (Proverbs 16:5).

Arrogance is not only illogical, foolish, unbecoming, and worthy of divine punishment, it is un-Christlike. Jesus was humble: “…Christ Jesus, who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:5-9; cf. Matt. 11:28-30; Rom. 15:3).

The consideration of what Jesus has done (sacrificial/atoning death and resurrection), is doing (ruling and interceding), and will do (return in judgment) should humble us! It should drive us to our knees in heartfelt and humble praise and adoration!

Likewise, we are called to be humble. “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Phil. 2:3-4). “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you” (1 Peter 5:5b-6; cf. Rom. 12:3).

To stand before the Grand Canyon in arrogance is foolish. To stand before God or neighbor in arrogance is un-Christlike. Being humble makes sense. Being humble makes us more like Jesus. Let us be reminded of the logic of humility.

Bart Warren
South Green Street church of Christ
Glasgow, KY

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