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The Fragrance of Humility

“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.” (I Peter 5:6) There are many virtues of the Christian character. Humility is a virtuous fragrance that draws men to it. Whether they know it or not, this fragrance is emanating from those who have come to Christ. I recall walking on the Greenway and smelling a sweet aroma in the air. Along the walkway, the honeysuckle flowers were flinging out their fragrance for those passing by. It is the kind of thing that will turn your head. Where is this fragrance coming from?  There it is! Honeysuckle bushes are in full bloom! This is the blessing of God’s creation to us. But we who are in Christ are a fragrance to God and to those who may come in contact with us. “For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma to life.” (II Corinthians 2:15-16)

Andrew Murray, Christian pastor, and teacher (1828-1917) wrote in his work on Humility:

“The great work of whether the holiness we profess to seek or attain is truth and life will be whether it be manifest in the increasing humility it produces. In the creature, HUMILITY is the one thing needed to allow God’s holiness to DWELL and SHINE through him.  In Jesus, the Holy One of God who makes us holy, a divine humility was the secret of His life and His death and His exaltation: the one infallible test of our holiness will be the humility before God and men which marks us. Humility is the BLOOM and the BEAUTY of holiness. The chief mark of counterfeit holiness is its lack of humility.”

We, who by grace, are exhibiting humility and compassion are magnets like honeysuckle bushes that radiate hope. Consider the multitudes that are looking for an answer to their confusion, despair, fear, and emptiness. Those who come in the atmosphere of the honeysuckle aroma of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will have their heads turned. Their blind eyes and deaf ears will begin to see by divine illumination through a glass darkly. The Bride of Christ is God’s answer to the depravity of man. As we counsel hurting people, they see the joy, hope, and light in our eyes. These hurting people have been wandering in the tombs of darkness.

“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body is full of light. But, if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is full of darkness, how great is that darkness.” (Matthew 6:22-23)

I remember saying to one student sitting across from my desk. ”Your eyes are dark!” It shocked his soul. He had not realized what sin and rebellion had done. Counseling him on his need for Christ, he consented and became a believer. Having established a foundation, he then proceeded toward deliverance. This student was set free.  “If the Son shall set you free, you shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36) He came running back into my office and wanted me to examine his eyes. I told him that his eyes were full of light. He went out rejoicing!

Humility is a work in process. God is working through all of us. He is gracious to us as we work in the field of broken people. It can get very stressful. His grace is sufficient. God trusts us as His combat medics tending those who have been bombed, shelled, and machine-gunned in the depravity of the world. “Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest.” (John 3:35)

“—the humility of Christ is the first of the virtues, the best of all the graces and powers of the Spirit. It has so little proved that a Christ-like humility is what it, like Christ, places and preaches first, as what is in very deed needed and possible too. But let us not be discouraged. Let the discovery of the lack of this grace stir us up to larger expectation from God. Let us look on every brother who tries or vexes us, as God’s means of grace, God’s instrument for our purification, for our exercise of the humility Jesus our Life breathes within us. And let us have such faith in the All of God, and the nothing of self, that, as nothing in our own eyes, we may, in God’s power, only seek to serve one another in love.” Andrew Murray.

There are people in despair who need us. Let us be the fragrance that turns their head seeing something different. Light in our eyes and compassion radiating the aroma of Life to those who happen to be walking by.

Consider the scribes and Pharisees who brought the adulterous woman to the temple. “Now early in the morning He came into the temple, and all the people came to Him, and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they set her in the midst, they said to Him, Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do you say? They said this to be testing Him, that they have something to accuse Him. After dealing with the Pharisees, the woman was left alone with Jesus. He said to her, ‘Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?’ She said. ‘No one Lord’. And Jesus said to her, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more’.” (John 8:1-11)

Her head was turned when she encountered the sweet-smelling aroma of the Lord. It is the fragrance of humility that Jesus our Life breathes within us. The Lord can use us as a fragrance of humility that will cause sinners to turn their heads to us and ultimately to Him.

Where the Grace Blows,