Humility – The Truth About One's Self
"Let the righteous strike me, it shall be a kindness,
and let him rebuke me, it shall be as excellent oil,
let my head not refuse it."
Only a truly humble person could bring to God a prayer like this. He is so intent on doing right before the Lord that he actually prays that a righteous person be sent to him to point out where he is wrong, or where he may be unaware of hidden sin.
We are a fallen people, a people whose first reaction to any accusation is hostility and anger, "how dare he say such a thing to me!" ...and then we bring to mind anything negative that we can say about that person in retaliation. Isn't it true?
But the truly humble person is so concerned with being right with God and wanting to be told wherever he or she is missing it, that he is willing to receive a rebuke from a righteous person…
"Faithful are the wounds of a friend..."
And while this humble man prays to be shown any error in his way and is welcoming of a rebuke, yet for himself he prays for protection from his own words, that he might not hurt anyone else.
"Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth,
keep watch over the door of my lips."
So the humble man/woman knows only too well that the weakest part of himself is his tongue and realizing that, he asks for protection from his own mouth.
"And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity.
The tongue is so set among our members
that it defiles the whole body,
and sets on fire the course of nature;
and it is set on fire by hell."
Truly, truly, the tongue IS a world of iniquity. Indeed, how many evils are brought about in this world by misuse of the tongue? How many times have we crushed a person with our words? How many times have we afflicted our children with hateful words? How many lives have had doubt cast upon them because of our gossip? And many times we don't even realize that we're offending God in what we speak. How we deceive ourselves!
It behooves us then as people truly wanting to be pleasing to God, that we ask to be shown any point on which we're missing it. This can only come through prayer, from humbling one's heart before God and asking to be shown any area of error or evil, especially when they are secret and covered over inside, for the Lord knows our failings, and every secret thing is plain to him. Let us therefore humble ourselves before him and pray to be protected from our own selves.
"Who can understand his errors?
Cleanse me from secret faults,
keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
let them not have dominion over me.
Then I shall be blameless,
and I shall be innocent of great transgression."