Humility and strength: not mutually exclusive

Being humble doesn't mean being weak and walked-on. True humility expresses the dominion of God.

One day I was talking with a young friend about humility. She was feeling confused and distressed. She felt that whenever she tried to be humble and meek, others took advantage of her goodness. She felt as though she always had to say "yes" when anyone asked her for a favor, because, she supposed, that was being kind, good, and humble—being a "good Christian." But instead of feeling uplifted and Christlike, she often felt used and weak.

At the time I didn't have an answer for her that would satisfy either of us. To say something such as "You have got to be more assertive and learn to stick up for yourself" might have worked in a self-improvement seminar, but she was searching for something deeper—something that would regenerate her whole sense of self.

The Bible tells us over and over the value of humility. For example, in I Peter we read, "God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble." Yet the Bible also says, in the words of Paul: "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong." The problem is how to possess the qualities of humility and strength at the same time.

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Finding man's identity in Christ
November 4, 1991

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