By Sophia Christiaan
The fruit of the Spirit called humility is not something that comes automatically. Sometimes you have to fight for it. Sometimes you have to fight for becoming the person that you need to become. It takes years of effort. It takes dedicated effort. It takes hard work to turn away from the familiar spirits under which you grew up. How can you expect to automatically be wise, gentle, or a good communicator if you didn’t see those things modeled for you growing up? If you have no example, how would you know what to do? If all you’ve ever known is the conflict, the deception, and the manipulative ways that come with the Jezebel spirit, how do you expect to know how to do the opposite? How to behave, how to act?
Under the Law of Moses, the Old Covenant, the people of Israel had no choice but to fear God if they wanted to keep their lives, because obeying God was the way God knew if they loved him or not. Nowadays, we need to be motivated by love for our Savior Jesus Christ when we strive to change and become better people. But, there needs to be an element of fear, a healthy fear that keeps us from doing wrong things and becoming evil people. Fear is not a long-term motivator, that’s why God replaced the old fear-based covenant with a new love-based covenant.
Now, knowing the Fruits of the Spirit, and knowing our own shortcomings, we must actively decide to passionately pursue change according to the Fruits of the Spirit. We must every day arrest our shortcomings and pray for forgiveness, pray for restoration, and decide to forsake whatever attitude of the heart that led us to our shortcoming in the first place. We can never become complacent and go easy on ourselves. We must continue to work toward holiness. We must, every day, face our failures with sincere honesty, whether it is discovered by ourselves, or pointed out by someone else. It can be hard to be told the truth about a certain shortcoming in our lives, but it really doesn’t matter who points it out, as long as we learn to respond appropriately to it. After King David had murdered a man, taken his wife, and was confronted with this terrible sin by the prophet Nathan, he fell on his face and admitted and acknowledged that he had sinned, and Who he had sinned against. That is why God called David a man after his own heart. See, it doesn’t matter how big our sins are, as long as we are willing to admit them and repent before the Lord. The Bible says, we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, so none of us are better than anyone else. We have all sinned, and we all do fall short on a daily basis.
Coming from a Jezebel background, with a very dominating and controlling mother, there hasn’t been one thing in my life that I have had to fight for more than the fruit of humility. I never truly knew what that meant because I had never had an example in this area. God had to teach me from scratch. If you are like me, someone who has fought to develop humility, you know that it doesn’t come without paying a heavy price. There is no room for ego in humility. There is no room for pride. And, there is no room for facades. If I truly want to change from the person I was so-called destined to be under the Jezebel Spirit’s influence, I must courageously and diligently continue to fight against the powers of darkness that seek to drag me down to enslave me. For 9 years now, I have been working on developing this very special character trait of humility. Every night when I say my evening prayers, I Thank God if I had a victorious day, and if I failed and acted pridefully, I ask Him to forgive me and restore me and cleanse anew!
I know now that nothing is too difficult for God. No one is too broken for God to heal them. No case is unsolvable to Him. We all need to know that, and ponder that, and accept that. Your case, your broken life with all your failures, is not too difficult for God to heal or restore! The only thing you have to do is seek Him, humble yourself before Him, and ask Him for healing. Then, when He starts pointing things out, by either speaking to your heart, or speaking through someone else, you must be willing to comply, to embrace the words of correction, and be willing to dedicate yourself wholeheartedly to the Lord as He works in you. Remember, you cannot change yourself or anyone else for that matter, you can only yield to the process that the Holy Spirit wants to take you through. When I was a child, growing up in a religious home, where most things were displayed as either good or bad, I thought I had to be perfect and whole to approach God. Now I know it works the other way around: I approach Him, and He makes me whole.
So, how do I approach Him? How do I find Him? Through prayer! Through earnest dedication to Him in prayer. Through hours of expressing to Him my desire for change. Through humbling myself, going through the motions of being willing to admit my faults and flaws, and ask God and people for their forgiveness when I have wronged them. God loves this! The Bible says that God will never reject a broken and contrite spirit, and that whoever humbles himself will be lifted up. Jesus also taught us that when we are willing to lose our lives for Him and His cause, that is when we find it. When we lay our lives down, we will be given life.
The virtue of humility has gone completely lost in our society today. Everyone is busy reciting what they deserve, what their rights are, and what they feel they should be entitled to. This is in diametric opposition to what the Bible teaches about our rights. Jesus basically says, that we have no rights, that in dying to ourselves, we will find reward. Jesus himself did not come to earth to be served and live a satisfied rich life. No, He came to lay His life down as a servant, and even die for you and me, when He was the last person to deserve it.
Humility is a fruit that the Lord truly loves. It is an act He can truly bless. Jesus didn’t come to earth to model self gratification, instead He came to sacrifice Himself. Maybe we need to be reminded of this fact. Maybe we all need to become better at laying our rights down, and letting our families know that it is all about serving one another in love!