You don’t come to the cross proudly. You come broken. It’s not a suggestion of God, it’s just reality. A proud person doesn’t see the need to confess a Savior.
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” Psalm 51:17
Humility sits at the bottom of the spiritual life pyramid. Our character is built on it. The fruit of the Spirit grows from it. Our Christian community depends on it. Have you fellowshipped before with people who think they deserved the cross? It’s not conducive to intimacy. I’m not going to share my wretchedness with someone who’s got it together, or thinks so.
If humility is so foundational to the Christian life, then why is it hard to come by? Why aren’t well all a humble community of Jesus followers? Well, for one thing, the flesh fights against it. Humility goes against the pull of the sinful nature. For another thing, humility is hard work, and we like things easy. Our spirits work up quite a sweat in pursuit of it.
Humility is a continuous choice. While it is the Spirit’s job to work his humility into the fabric of our souls, it is our job to make choices that comply with Christ’s Gospel – a way of service, sacrifice, losing ourselves to gain ourselves, and the way of “one another”.
“Then he [Jesus] said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23
Daily, we must stoop and pick up the splintered cross. That means I must intentionally follow the way of the cross, not the way of Sondra. “Deny” means that I recognize the death of my old self.
“I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” Galatians 2:20
Crucified. Deny. Take up his cross daily. These are words of permanent, life-defining humility. For when we choose the cross, we identify in the death of Jesus, and that death becomes our death, and his life, our life. His humility, our humility. Humility becomes not just a choice, but part of our new identity.
The only thing left for us is the daily work, the choosing that which was chosen for us at the cross.