The Stages of Spiritual Growth, Part Two

In a previously-published post, I proffered a new “trio” of the stages of spiritual growth set forth in the Bible.

Here’s another trio:  those who practice…  “active”  >  ”aggressive” (or “adamant”)  >  ”automatic”  humility.

There’s a thing called “active listening” which has become a big deal in recent years in consulting circles.  It refers to not just “hearing” people when they speak but truly (actively) listening  to them.  Maintaining eye contact and a spirit of empathy, verbal acknowledgments, etc.

When we first come to the Lord, God graciously gives a new, much more definitive, deep, and durable sense of humility (also referred to as meekness or gentleness; Galatians 5:22-23) than we had ever experienced pre-salvation.  In terms of how we view ourselves (utter sinner; Luke 18:13), others (whom we regard as “more important” than ourselves, in a sense our “superiors” singularly worthy of honor and respect; Philippians 2:3; Romans 12:10), and God (the Creator and all-powerful, perfect purveyor of every good thing, the gracious granter of all good gifts, the one and only Sovereign and Judge; Genesis 1; James 1:17, 4:12; 1 Timothy 6:15).  Humility becomes active, not just passive (and the exact opposite  of low self-esteem, for which it is often mistaken/misidentified by some… as I always say, in a primary and even secondary sense, humility isn’t thinking poorly of oneself, it’s not thinking of oneself at all).

Then, as we grow/mature spiritually, the diligent duo of the Holy Spirit and the Word within (working hand-in-hand as always) develops in us a sense of humility which isn’t just “active” but “aggressive” (or “adamant”) … not qualitatively but quantitatively, i.e., humility becomes something that we come to LOVE, to thoroughly ENJOY demonstrating in our interactions with God and, under that umbrella, with other people.  All people.  Literally everyone.  Since we realize and appropriate the fact that the latter are made in the image of the Former.

And finally, after continued/sustained spiritual growth/maturity, humility becomes virtually “automatic”.  In us but definitely not because of us… not because of us but in spite of  us, not because of us but because of Him  and His ever-working Word! (1 Thessalonians 2:13, one of my “life verses”)

Ironically, this prevents us from even thinking  that we’re humble, because, as with wisdom, an integral, true, tangible aspect of humility is that it opens one’s eyes to how little  of it one possesses at any given time and how much  room for improvement and growth remains; yet it’s an undeniable truth that humility is indeed one of the many, many, many changes and transformations which occur within when the Bible finds fertile soil in one’s heart.

Anyone’s  heart.  Because if He can do that in a sinner like me, He can do it in anyone.


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