Boldness and Humility [Part 1]
Are you ready for some good news?
You can be bold without being prideful. You can be humble without timid.
“Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.” (Acts 9:8–9, ESV)
“And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind.” But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words. For the king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly.”” (Acts 26:24–27, ESV)
Only the Gospel enables you to be both bold and humble at the same time.
The two different scenes from Paul’s life depict absolute humility and utter boldness. At his conversion, the mighty persecutor of the Christians was suddenly blind, hungry, and dependent upon someone to lead him by the hand. Paul never forgot the humility from which his ministry was born. He taught us to “count others higher than ourselves” and that, without love, we are nothing more than clanging cymbals. But, when appearing before emperors, Paul demonstrated unspeakable boldness wherein he counted not the risk of his own life.
Some expressions of Christianity so emphasize humility that believers are lured into a false ideology of self-deprecation. Other versions of Christianity so emphasize boldness that non-Christians perceive them as judgmental and hypocritical.
Only the gospel brings together boldness and humility because it takes us out of the picture and puts Christ in the center. For the Christian, life is not measured through comparisons with others. The Christian life is defined by a deep awareness of our innate sinfulness and our imputed righteousness. As a Christian, I can say unequivocally I deserve no good thing and, at the same time, passionately affirm that I am of infinite worth to God. I can, at the same time, declare that I justly deserve God’s displeasure, but that I am the eternal recipient of every spiritual blessing in Christ.
Every other expression of human worth either leads to pride or to shame. But, in Christ, we have the perfect balance of boldness and humility. And that’s the gospel!
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