Humility is the fear of the LORD; its wages are riches and honor and life. – Proverbs 22:4 (NIV)
I’ve been working since I was a young lad. Growing up on a farm in North Dakota had a lot to do with my work ethic. A work ethic doesn’t mean that I like to get up early and work in the barn, it simply meant that I did what I had to do and learned how to enjoy it.
A work ethic is rewarded in wages. The more valuable you become as an employee, you have a higher chance of being compensated well. In some cases, people scrape by on the work ethic of others. They do just enough to contribute to a project while remaining disengaged from the process.
The wages of humility can be rewarded richly. The one thing about humility is this; you cannot bank on another person’s humility to ensure a good personal reward. Each person is responsible for their humility towards God. Either you have it or you don’t.
Humility is hard to do because it is the opposite of pride. Pride keeps us disillusioned about how great we really aren’t. Pride is like the emperor’s new clothes. Like the emperor who paid dearly for a set of invisible clothes, we pay dearly while trying to look like something we aren’t.
In humility, we pay at first with our effort. In the end, when we take the accurate assessment of ourselves in light of God and in light of what Jesus has done for us, we are richly rewarded with peace, provision and potential.
The hardest part of humility is accepting who we really are. When dealing with the sin that separates us from God, it’s not easy to accept the light that reveals our hidden motives. When dealing with our comparison with God, it’s not in our nature to worship His glory.
However, in humility we gain an accurate perspective of who we are in Christ. Because of Jesus’ work on the cross and the entrance of the Holy Spirit on the earth, we can become sons and daughters of God. That’s something to exercise humility for.
Think about this; whenever I act in pride, everyone sees my lack of clothing. My motives are revealed and my actions are offensive. Whenever I act in humility, everyone sees the heart of God working through me. Humility will reveal truth in gentle ways. While the truth may be difficult to embrace, it will be the truth that sets us free.
With truth like that, we can’t afford to act in anything but humility.