“Like Moses, our humility is not in our ability to slink like a worm, to self-deprecate at every compliment, or to lose hope in any success. It is to look away from ourselves entirely and draw near to the throne of grace with confidence, to the one who gives mercy and help in time of need (Heb 4:16).”
In the days of the selfie and mass public narcissism, it is clear that Christians have an opportunity to be set apart. But how? Should we seek to practice humility by walking around, heads down, mealy-mouthed, and paralyzed by our total depravity? What exactly does Christian humility look like?
The Scriptures tell us that Moses was the most humble man on the earth (Num 12:3). We could learn a lot from his example, as it is recorded in the early chapters of Exodus. His immediate task was to save the Hebrews from Egyptian oppression and his ultimate task to make known the power and glory of the one true God. It is fair to say that he did not get off to a good start. First he murdered a man; then, humiliated, he spent the next 40 years tending sheep in the wilderness. By the time that the Lord told him to go back to deliver His people in His power, Moses had a litany of self-abasing excuses. Who was going to listen to an 80 year-old Hebrew, fugitive, shepherd with a speech impediment?
Humble as he may have sounded when he made these excuses, God was angry with Moses for this line of reasoning. He reminded Moses that it was He who had made his mouth; and, in no uncertain terms God made clear to Moses that the mission was about His own power, character, and glory. So Moses went. His humility was not displayed by his negative self-talk, but instead by his trusting boldness to follow the “I AM” before the throne of Pharaoh on a quest that would look to the world like an epic act of foolishness. His humility was his obedient confidence in the Lord alone.
By way of contrast, I’m only called to help my husband lead our 7 kids (and maybe a few friends)–not a whole nation!–toward the throne of heaven, but I can relate. Likely you can too. Most Christians at some point will be commissioned to a task that makes us feel completely out of our depth. Perhaps like Moses you have had a twisted mouth or even a murderous past that leave you feeling impotent and unworthy to do your job.