Cultivating Humus

0
30

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom (James 3:13 NIV).

When I think of humility, I sometimes picture a plowed field. Rich, ready soil. Fertile furrows, open and waiting for the good seed.

I guess that’s because I’ve read that the word “humility” is derived from the Latin humus (earth). It’s the attribute of being down-to-earth, grounded, realistic – no nose in the air or head in the clouds.

But not all “humility” is fertile soil. Sometimes it’s more like artificial turf… Look-alike, but not real. Manufactured. We’ll call it “AT” (artificial turf) humility.

 

  1. “AT” humility can come from humiliation – from being shot down, shown up, or run over until the cocky grin is wiped from our faces.

 

  1. “AT” humility can come from our situation – we recognize that we are in over our head, so we temporarily step back and yield to others.

 

  1. “AT” humility can come from pretense – “Oh, it was nothing. Anyone would have done it.”

 

  1. And from pressure – “All right, I give up. You’re right and I’m wrong!”

Those sources – humiliation, impossible situations, pretense or pressure – produce a humility that’s superficial and often short-lived. As soon as things are looking up or the situation changes or we’ve had a pat on the back to restore our self-assurance, we are strutting about again. We’ve got this.

 

  1. But James talks about genuine humility – rich, plowed-field This is the humility that comes from wisdom. From godly wisdom: a realistic assessment of ourselves, a consciousness of our defects and shortcomings, a recognition of our innate helplessness, an acknowledgement that we are not superior to others (in fact, see Phil. 2:3 – what a challenge!), a perspective on ourselves, others and life that comes from God himself.

 

True godly wisdom produces a rich, ready humus. And it’s only into that kind of soil that James urges us to plant our good deeds. Then those deeds won’t spring up, superficial and short-lived, to die without producing a harvest. And we won’t have to be afraid of crop failure, for the Word says:

“Whoever sows generously will also reap generously” (2 Cor. 9:6 NIV) and “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Gal 6:9 NIV).

If we sow our good deeds in the humility that comes from wisdom, God will one day look at our harvest and say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

 

WCTLLAB
SHARE
Previous articleBrett Fallon, Cats, Dogs and McNuggets
Next articleAndy Kerr, Spiders and PB&Js
Sandy Mayle and her husband, Dave, live in Summit Township and attend First Alliance Church in Erie. They have three grown sons, two daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren. Sandy is a freelance writer and has written for Discipleship Journal, War Cry, Pray! Magazine and many other publications. Contact her through her Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/sandy.mayle.3