The Yoke of Humility

by Ray Reuter on January 5, 2017

I took some time off at the end of the year to “RE” … REgroup, REstore, RElax, REassess, REflect, REfocus, etc. The tools I bring for this work include journals, books, and of course my iPad. It was no coincidence that a book I chose to begin reading was perfect for my time. It was as if God wrote it for me for this time. There was no accident. The book is “Humble Roots: How Humility Grounds and Nourishes Your Soul” by Hannah Anderson. I was attracted to it because one of my potential “3 Words for the Year” is humility.

As soon as I started reading, my highlighter got a workout! Check this out …

“You’re not God. I’m not God. None of us are God. But how often and how easily we forget this! How often we try to live beyond normal human limits. How often we try to do it all, to know it all, to be it all. And how often we end up stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed because of it. To be fair, it’s a subtle dilemma, one that can hide behind an honest desire to do good and make a difference in the world. Because human beings are made in God’s image, it’s natural that we end up looking and acting a lot like Him. As we mature in faith, we strive to become more loving, more gracious, more wise, and even more productive. But as we do, we must never forget that looking like God does not mean that we are God. We are made in His image, but we are made nonetheless.”

Holy smokes. In just a few sentences, the Holy Spirit through this book captured exactly what all my REwork was about!

“When I believe that I am responsible for my own existence, when I trust my ability to care for myself, I will have nothing but stress because I am unequal to the task.” [rewritten in the first person]

The way through this state is to humble myself and submit to Him. Jesus uses the image of a yoke, a symbol of authority. Jesus calls me (and us) to take His yoke and submit to Him as our true master. The heavy burden I often struggle under is my belief that I have to meet all expectations by my own ability, which leads to confidence that I can carry the burden alone — I don’t need any help! I can grind things through myself. This is pride and self-reliance! … which keeps me (and us) from experiencing rest.

“Pride convinces us that we are stronger and more capable than we actually are. Pride convinces us that we must do and be more than we are able.”

The challenge for me … and possibly for you … is when I am feeling burdened and heavy laden, am I really (really!) humbly accepting the yoke and submitting to Him as much as I could be?

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