Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
I can’t think of an easier way to put it as God has put it there. But today’s devo I think put it in some interesting words:
The selfward heart doesn’t get it. It can’t be transparent about its weaknesses and failures because it is too busy masking them. There is a personal reputation to maintain. The Godward heart, however, is busy with God’s reputation. It can easily confess sin and sickness, because it knows that God is glorified by His treatment of such things. The selfward soul runs around saying, “I’m doing my best for the glory of God.” The Godward soul can relax and proclaim, “God’s doing His wonderful work in the wreck that is me.”
Both perspectives come from good intentions (I hope :P). But God’s grace shows up best in the honesty of a tax collector like Zacchaeus or a prostitute who weeps for mercy. Honest souls know what’s inside of them. They alone can showcase a Saviour.
I think it’s also important to note that to be humble is doesn’t condemn yourself (i.e. make yourself feel like crap). If you feel condemned, if you feel anger, ego or pride, chances are it’s not humility. God doesn’t look to put you down (unless you really need that slap in the face), He wants to build you up and bless you so that you may love and glorify Him.
It’s very parent-like don’t you think so?