A Posture of Humility

James 4:6 says, "But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.'"

The above text is often quoted and misquoted, which can lead to confusion. Depending on the circumstance or perspective, it has been used correctly to reject pride or, mistakenly, as a call for self-deprecation. However, it is important to understand and interpret it correctly. In a world filled with divisive issues and extreme positions, followers of Christ are called to align themselves with God rather than oppose Him. Humility is the posture of being aligned with God. One way we demonstrate this alignment is through how we choose to engage with fellow believers who hold different viewpoints. So, what does humility look like in these situations? Here are a few key points to consider:

Be open to being wrong

In her book Being Wrong, Kathryn Shulz argues that “the capacity to make mistakes is essential to human cognition. Being wrong does not indicate intellectual inferiority or moral flaw. On the contrary, acknowledging our errors allows us to learn, grow, and change.” Accepting when we are wrong, also known as repentance, is vital for our development as individuals and our relationships with others. It means recognizing that we are not infallible and that we are all on a journey of understanding life together.

 Agree to disagree

In the past, I believed that agreeing to disagree was a sign of laziness. I thought that if people truly engaged in seeking the truth, they would eventually reach a consensus. However, I realized that my own conviction of being right hindered me from considering alternative perspectives. Agreeing to disagree is a healthy practice that acknowledges that no one has a monopoly on truth. As individuals loved by God, we can arrive at different conclusions without diminishing our worth or deserving less love. It is important to note that this does not apply to clearly sinful or harmful ideas or practices. There is a distinction between right and wrong, and it is essential to discern that difference.

You don't have to share your opinion (especially when it is unsolicited)

In today's world, it is common for people to express their opinions freely, often without being asked. However, Proverbs 29:11 reminds us that a fool utters everything on their mind, while a wise person waits for the right moment. Imagine if more of us took this verse to heart! Social media would be less contentious, news networks would focus on meaningful dialogue, and church communities would foster civility. Sharing our opinions, especially when unsolicited, often leads to unnecessary strife and hinders fruitful dialogue. True humility involves knowing when to speak and when to remain silent, prioritizing peace and charity in our relationships.

In conclusion, as followers of Christ, let us strive to embody humility in our interactions with others. Let us be open to acknowledging our mistakes, willing to respectfully disagree, and discerning when to share our opinions. By doing so, we can contribute to a more peaceful and gracious society, aligning ourselves with God's work of redemption.
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Drew Helney - March 27th, 2024 at 10:16am

"Accepting when we are wrong, also known as repentance, is vital for our development as individuals and our relationships with others." So good and SO HARD. May this be normalized in our lives!