Humility and Holiness
Now Kelly writes that there are many fruits of holy obedience, but “two are so closely linked together that they can scarcely be treated seperately. The are the passion for personal holiness and a sense of utter humility.” [p. 34-35]
Kelly gets humility exactly right, I think. It isn’t “self-disgust at our shabby lives”–it’s such a deep awareness of God that you fully realize only what He is doing counts. Humility doesn’t come through thinking of myself a certain way, it comes from not really thinking about myself at all.
The God-blinded soul sees naught of self, naught of personal degradation or personal eminence, but only the Holy Will working impersonally through him… [p. 36]
If I try to progress in humility by thinking about myself in a certain way, I’ve entered a self-defeating process. Humility comes when I’m not grasping for humility itself, but grasping for God.
Kelly goes on to say that there is a humility in God Himself–that it makes sense to say “Be humble, therefore, as God is humble.” I’m not quite sure what he means by this, unless it is that God himself isn’t really focused on his own status or glory, rather his focus is on love for his creation. This is my understanding of the hymn in Philippians 2:
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
In other words, it is because of the fact that Jesus shares the nature of God–not in spite of it!–that he was willing to leave power and privilege to become a servant. The humility of Christ is not some abberation in the Trinity, but truly reflects the character of God.