It is a sobering Scriptural fact that God ‘resists the proud but gives grace to the humble’ (James 4:6). Jesus thanked God for His approach in whom He chooses to reveal His truths to. God simply loves those who have child-like, open hearts, but He does not take to those who consider themselves wise and understanding. It seems that the quickest way to stop learning is to have all the answers!
The paradox seems to be that we’re called to forever keep growing and keep learning, but that we’re never to become wise in our own eyes. Paul explained that ‘knowledge puffs up, but love edifies’ (1 Cor 8:1) Somehow our growing in understanding has to be wider than mere intellectual expansion. If we are truly learning from the Lord, He will also expand our hearts.
It might be worth prayerfully considering to what extent we have retained or lost that childlike attitude. A key question for reflection is whether or not we feel we are currently still growing in understanding. Do we have a sense of already having arrived, or of just getting started? Do we feel big and important or do we realise that we’re actually quite small? Or perhaps more potently: is God hiding His revelation from us or is He increasingly showing us more things?
We all stray and each one of us is prone to arrogance and pride. This is not a reason to embrace condemnation, but rather to draw closer to Him and ask for His mercy. The Lord loves to show Himself to us, but I believe that He will only do so when this is safe, when it will benefit us in the long run. He won’t feed our ego and pride, as this path can only lead to destruction. But He is drawn to hungry, humble hearts. May our Father, in His kindness and grace, enable us to have such child-like hearts again!
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