While the world works desperately to bolster our sense of personal significance and individual importance, biblical truth drives us in the opposite direction. A hallmark of biblical humility is the realization that we are infinitesimally small, juxtaposed with a growing appreciation for the magnitude of God’s love to stoop to care for creatures like us. Our need is not for an amplified “self-esteem” (that has been the source of immeasurable trouble in the cosmos since the inflated self-perception of a certain angelic being – Isaiah 14:13-14). Instead, the real challenge is to get ourselves in perspective as we seek to know the transcendent and majestic God who made us and chose to redeem us. David sang: “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” (Ps.8:3-4). When we are able to see our fleeting lives against the backdrop of our immutable and eternal God, our hearts find their dependant and appropriate place in God’s world – a prerequisite for fruitful living. Again David typifies the godly perspective when he wrote, “He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer… O Lord, what is man that you care for him, the son of man that you think of him? Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow” (Psalm 144:2-3). May we learn to esteem our great God as we recognize our smallness.
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