Embracing Brokenness and Humility
Psalm 51:17 – “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, These O God, You will not despise.”
Philippians 2:3-4 – “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
James 2:1,4 – “My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality….have you not shown partial among yourselves, and become judges of evil thoughts?”
1 Peter 5:5 – “God resists the proud. But gives grace to the humble.”
1 John 2:16 – “For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.”
Perhaps the worst form of pride is the attitude of spiritual complacency that sees little need for ongoing cleansing and growth in one’s own life. If the apostle Paul needed to “press toward the mark,” how much more do we? The Greek word for “press” (dioko) has the rich meaning of “to pursue or follow, to urgently press forward.”
True revival always begins with deep humility and brokenness over sin (2 Chronicles 7:14). As believers, we are to ever be “pressing toward the mark and perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” (2 Corinthians 7:1; Philippians 3:12-13) Being “under grace” in no way means we can just leisurely coast in the Christian life.
Questions for Reflection
- Do you think yourself quite spiritual?
- Do you often criticize and judge others?
- Do you spend daily time allowing God to deeply search your life or do you feel you need little cleansing?
- Are you truly broken and contrite over your shortcomings or do you tend to think, “Oh well, no one is perfect?”
- Are you desperately hungry to see a mighty move of God or are you somewhat complacent?
- Do you come across as having a “holier than thou attitude”?
- If you feel that you have nearly “arrived” and need little growth, you are guilty of the worst form of spiritual pride. God hates self-righteousness and spiritual complacency.
- Do you have a significant tendency to become angry when others do not notice and praise you?
- Is there any desire to impress people by your appearance, money or accomplishments?
- Do you in any way fail to put all the focus on God’s grace by drawing attention to yourself?
- Do you tend to look down on people who are not as financially affluent?
- Conversely, do you resent those who have more monetarily?
- Do you closely associate only with your own race or culture?
- Are you suspicious of those from a different race, culture or background?
- Do you think you are too good to closely associate with someone you consider unattractive or not part of the “in crowd”?
- Conversely, do you tend to resent people more physically attractive or gifted than yourself?
- Have you sought to reach out to other culture groups or have you settled into a social “comfort zone”?
Immediately confess and forsake all sins of pride or prejudice. Believe Christ for a spirit of genuine humility and contriteness of heart. List specific ways you can embrace greater brokenness and humility.
Gregory Reed Frizzell, Return to Me Says the Lord: 21 Days to Power and Passion for God (Fulton, KY: Master Design Publishing, 2012), 30-33.