Humility: The Way of the Heart

No one who hopes in you
     will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
     who are treacherous without cause.
Show me your ways, LORD,
     teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
     for you are God my Savior,
     and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, LORD, your great mercy and love,
     for they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth
     and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
     for you, LORD, are good.
Good and upright is the LORD;
     therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right
     and teaches them his way.
All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful
     toward those who keep the demands of his covenant. (Psalm 25:3–10 NIV)

In a world that demands the self to be at the forefront of everything we do, it feels impossible to surrender our ego to the humble ways of the Lord.

When we are told we can do anything we want and be anything we desire as long as we work hard and go after it, we breed inadequacy. The cultural demands of making ourselves number one and stopping for no one else produces anxiety.

Before our feet hit the floor each morning, we come up short. There is always more to be done. The way of this world requires constant improvement in all aspects of life, whether it is our appearance, our home, our job, or even our friendship circle. We are never enough.

This path we often find ourselves on, whether intentionally or by accident, is a path that leads us away from the goodness of God and into shame, rebelliousness, sin, and a depravity of the soul.

In this Psalm, we see the very heart of David. He has gotten lost in a season of crisis. We see his inner conflict, his transgressions, and his deep distress as he cries out to God for help. David openly declares his trust in God and admits his need to get back on track. He realizes that without God he will fall into despair. God is his only hope.

It is here, in the recognition that God is his only hope, that David goes back to basics. He goes back to the core of what he believes and values. He uses words like “show me,” “teach me,” and “guide me.” These words are cries of humility and a deep understanding that his salvation is found only in God.

David is remembering who God is, loving and merciful, while also asking him to not remember the sinful things David has done. He asks God to merely remember him.

He gets right down to the crux of things – God and himself. Our relationship with God is the heart of the matter. And humility is the way of the heart.

The demands of our world are relentless and misleading. They are heavy and burdensome, wearing us down, slowly but surely eroding us until we no longer remember who we are and who created us in his very image.

In God’s Kingdom, the demands of the Lord’s covenant build us up in his goodness, his righteousness, and his mercy. This requires humility on our part to surrender ourselves and let go of our self, sacrificing our will for his. Allowing God to show us, teach us, and guide us will place us on a path that leads us into wholeness, healing, completeness, and an abundance in our soul, with his extravagant love at the centre of all things.

—Deb Judas is a member of the Forge Canada Team and a former NAB pastor.