Humility as openness and receptivity

In addition to being truth -- that is, an honest assessment of who we are -- humility is openness and receptivity to God. Casey helped me to see this.

Openness/receptivity is an important aspect to humility, because it is relational. To be honest about who we are, especially who we are in relation to God, is good and right. However, one can realize one's own weakness and shortcomings, and still remain closed off to God and others. Biblical humility is self-awareness of sin and need, turned toward God.

Luke relates Jesus' parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector (Lk 18). The tax collector cries, "Have mercy on me, a sinner." It is important to see that the tax collector was in the temple and not standing outside the door. If he realized his own sinfulness and need but did not open himself to God, then he would have gone home rather than staying in the temple. And he would not have gone home justified.

Ideally our openness and receptivity to God should permeate every moment of our lives. Humility thus drives prayer that is moment-by-moment communion with God.


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