|Joan of Arc's Death at the Stake by Stilke |
(photo credit: Wikimedis Commons)
When many Christians think of humility and sanctity, they often think of ascetic fasting and the heroic acts of the saints, but these sorts of practices often focus more on self than on God. It is actually a subtle sort of self-delusion that is difficult to discern, but God is finally getting through to me, helping me shake off self-defeating, pious actions that actually drive me further from God.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves it is the gift of God not by works-Ephesians 2:8,9
I cannot earn His love or Presence.
He must do everything in me.
This is true humility.
Pride entices me to work harder, pray more, fast religiously and perform heroic looking acts of virtue. Humility accepts that only God can save me and those around me.
We must come to the realization that we need a Savior. It usually takes even contemplative monks decades to finally let go of the last of their pride and arrogant striving to humbly surrender control to God. Pride makes us try to earn our salvation with good works. Humility realizes that we are sinners. Period. Nothing can change that fact, except Christ's work on the cross.
Melanie writes at Joy of Nine9.