The Humility of Image Bearers
We were each created by God, made in His image. Though the image in us has been marred by our voluntary enslavement to sin, it is still present. This identity as His image bearers is what defines our value and our purpose.
As creatures, our natural right position before God is one of humility as we yield to Him His rightful place of honor and authority. We exist to glorify and exalt Him. Just as the moon has no light of its own but merely reflects the sun, so we are only reflectors of His glory and image; we are not the source or center of anything. Andrew Murray, in his book Humility, defines it as
the sense of entire nothingness that comes when we see how truly God is everything. We are to be empty vessels that are filled up and used by Him. Our design as God's image bearers is to be wholly dependent on Him—that is the essence of humility.
Pride is the loss of humility and the root of sin. Pride can be expressed in a multitude of ways, including taking control, exalting ourselves, going our own way, rejecting God's leadership, and redefining our own identity. The Kingdom is for those who have nothing in themselves and seek nothing for themselves. So here's the question—who or what are you seeking? If we would grasp the fact that our value and identity are found in God, we could stop seeking them elsewhere and instead let Him define us and give us purpose. In pride, we constantly strive to exalt and protect ourselves. But humility rests in our union with Christ, remembering that our life is hidden in his.
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
When it comes down to it, humility is a matter of worship and affection. Who will we serve, and what will be our posture before God? Humility is a basic component of our salvation—admitting the depth of our sin and our need, and quietly resting in His grace rather than relying on ourselves. Humility is also the foundational element of our ongoing discipleship. The initial step toward obedience is recognizing the holiness of the Father and submitting to His authority.
Humility is often misconstrued as something negative and undesirable, but that is far from true. In reality, the path of humility and service is the way to freedom from sin and self. Humility is joy—living as we have been designed to live: in dependent communion with our loving Creator.