Mary said in Luke 1:48, My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior “…for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.” Now the question begs: What is humility? Here’s my user-friendly definition: Humility is deciding God knows best. Mary demonstrated humility when she determined that God knew best and that his plans for her life were much better than her own. This is the essence of humility – deciding that God knows best, not you.
Two weeks ago I thought I knew best and found out otherwise. Two weeks ago I had started to get sick so I told my wife I was heading to the Stop & Shop Pharmacy to get some Emergen-C (which is a packet full of vitamin C that you mix into water and then drink). I thought it would prevent me from plunging into full blown sickness. She said it was a waste of money and didn’t do anything to prevent people from getting sick, but I didn’t believe her so I headed out to the store. When I got there I said to the Pharmacist “I’m trying to ward off a cold. Where can I find some Emergen-C?” The Pharmacist said “That’s a total waste of money in my opinion. It doesn’t do anything to prevent you from getting sick.” Instead of drinking Emergen-C, I ate crow! lol
In pride, we sometimes act towards God the way I acted towards my wife. When we resist God’s will we send the message to God “I think I know better than You.” When we resist God’s will we send the message to God “I think I am smarter than You.” Through willful disobedience we, the creation, claim we know better than our Creator. And that’s pride, which is the opposite of humility. Pride keeps us believing the lie that there couldn’t possibly be a greater source of wisdom in the universe than our own.
Well Mary chose the way of humility. She didn’t understand what God was asking her to do, which is why she asked the angel “How will this be since I am a virgin?” Things didn’t make sense. And sometimes the things God tells us to do in the Bible don’t appear to make much sense. “Forgive? That’s crazy God! Don’t you realize what they’ve done to me!?” Sometimes God’s commands are the opposite of what we would naturally want to do. But this is where humility comes into play. When, like Mary, we don’t understand, we humbly surrender, by firmly concluding in our hearts and minds that God knows best. James 4:6 says that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” That means you have two options: Be humble or be humbled. If you choose the path of humility God will pour out his grace in your situation and you’ll be very pleased with the results of following God’s way. On the other hand, if you’re proud, God won’t hesitate to let you learn the hard way that He knows better than you. Friends – let’s be like Mary! Let’s not learn the hard way! Let’s choose the path of humble surrender so God can pour out his grace in our lives!