Holiness Requires Humility

Matthew 11:29 (ESV)
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

This is one of the most comforting verses in the Bible. Here, the Creator of everything describes Himself as meek and lowly in heart. What does this have to do with holiness? Because holiness is the product of grace, and God gives grace only to the humble (Proverbs 3:34).

We must begin this study by first recognizing Jesus did not condemn sinners; He condemned hypocrites. He opposed those who basked in their own self-righteousness and was quick to point out the faults in those around him. A hypocrite seeks no mercy because he does not feel the need and therefore he will have little to extend to others.

Therefore if we are to obtain holiness, we must first admit we’re not there yet. And this requires humility. Humility is our first step in sanctification: a desire to know God more intimately.

As we study God and His Word, we recognize early the He resists the proud, but favors those who are humble. Humility is the single transforming element that sets us on a path to holiness, for without it, we cannot be like our Lord. We must forsake our pride for the purity of a heart born of meekness in which holiness can blossom. To do this effectively, we must be open to self-reflection and discovery.

If we are not enlightened to the depravity of our human nature, we can quickly become ‘Christian Pharisees”, hypocrites in our own right, full of contempt and self-righteousness. Unfortunately, today’s churches are full of these folks.

Seeking lowliness of heart takes effort—it is not a natural condition for most of us. But we must, and if such a state of being is difficult for you then pray to God to give you an eye to recognize your own self-righteous behavior and then make the changes through prayerful communion with the One who can change you.

Grow in love, excel in mercy, and you will have a clearer perception into the essence of holiness, for holiness is the very nature of God.

Sanctify yourselves.