“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
Have you ever heard of false humility? You know, disingenuous humility? False humility is essentially rooted in pride. It’s being humble for the sake of recognition. This is not what we see here from King David in Psalm 8.
So, how are we to tell the difference? How are we to know if we possess genuine humility? What is the pathway to humility? Allow me to offer this suggestion to you today:
Jesus is our model and our motivation for humility.
Although David walked the face of this earth long before Jesus did, somehow, he still grasped this truth. As King David penned the words of Psalm 8, there was no hint of sarcasm or despair in his words. What we see here is a man after God’s own heart, a man that had come to know the character of God, and in light of seeing who God was, he recognized who he was not. This is far from self-loathing and low self-esteem. This is humility. Essentially, he says, “I can see the magnificence of all that you have made, and for some reason, you decided to entrust the care of these created things to me. Why? Who am I in light of your glory? What am I that I should deserve such a gift? Why do you choose to acknowledge me?”
If we can begin to understand David’s question as a sign of genuine humility, I believe we have found the trailhead of the pathway to humility. You see, David wasn’t doubting God’s love and care for him. He finally recognized the enormous gap between himself and God, and this response was one of tremendous gratitude. He recognized that God had no need for him, yet God delighted in using him. See the difference?
When you and I finally come to grips with who God is, we understand who we’re not, and it is in that moment that our pride begins to die and humility begins to grow. Probably like you, I desire to be humble. I want to be like Jesus, who gave up the glory and splendor of heaven to take on the limitations of humble man. I want to be a servant like Jesus, who washed the feet of His disciples instead of demanding to be served. I want to be self-sacrificing like Jesus, who gave His life for our sake so that we could be in right relationship with God. I want to be humble. And to be humble, you and I must begin in this place:
“God, you are God, and I am not. I’m going to stop trying to be, and I’m going to start trusting you.”