Theology Thursday: The Mark of Inner Transformation

silhouette of a man showing humility before God in prayer

“In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” - 1 Peter 5:5, NIV

In all our interactions with others, there may be no greater mark of a transformed life by Jesus Christ than a life of humility. It is scorned as weakness in our culture but is a pattern of life for a true disciple.

Humility Is the Path to Spiritual Intimacy

As we compare ourselves to the world, we may feel good about ourselves for our own inner transformation and our level of submission to God and a lifestyle of humility. Our challenge comes from the fact that we were never called to compare ourselves to the world, but to compare ourselves to the holiness of God. This leaves a lot of room for improvement and little room for self-adulation.

Humility is our mandate to have identity with God. “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8, NIV).

My mandate of discipleship is to empty the selfish, self-absorbed pattern of the world that is woven into my existence and begin to live a humble life. No better example is given than when we are called to, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” (Philippians 2:3-4, NIV).

Humility Is My Calculated Choice

It truly is possible to profess the Christian faith, but not discipline humility in our lives. However, this faith walk will always have obstacles as stated, “The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so” (Romans 8:7, NIV).

When we submit to God and take humility as a daily calculated discipline to every response to people, adversity, conflict, and even praise there is a change of mindset and heart. A welling up of compassion and discernment begins to transform us and, in turn, transforms our relationships.

Salvation only happens through the work of Jesus for us, but humility is the work we do as worship to our Lord. “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” (James 4:10, NIV). Other biblical texts affirm that the process of humility in Christian thought and behavior is afforded as an invitation to those who desire to be like Jesus. It must be stated that God also humbles his people. However, it merely takes brief consideration to know that to humble ourselves is going to be a much less painful process than if God must humble us.

Humility Is Revealed in Wisdom

“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” - Proverbs 11:2, NIV

A life of humility is not something that you put on your business card or as your official title on social media. A dedicated life of humility will be expressed in an inexplicable wisdom endowed by the Holy Spirit guiding us into all truth. “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way” (Psalms 25:9, NIV).

It must be stated that God also humbles his people who have true inner transformation and not projecting a false sense of humility or discipleship. In today’s world we often find people projecting false humility online. With this in mind, it is always important to go back to the Bible as our basis and Jesus as our example.

“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in humility that comes from wisdom.” - James 3:13, NIV

Little explanation needs to be added to these passages. Suffice it to say that humility's inner transformation is not in its proclamation; instead, it is insight into the heart of God that flows into our lives. That expression then spreads to all those around us, showing humility’s transformation of our whole being.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.