Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.
James 4:10 NIV

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned an interesting paradox about life: The longer I live and the more I learn, the more I realize I have yet to learn. Similarly, I’ve noticed that the wisest people I know are those who remain openhanded and teachable—those who willingly and readily admit they don’t know it all. Humility, it seems, is key to spiritual growth and wisdom.

A common misconception about humility, though, is that, in order to be humble, we must see ourselves as devalued. Notice that God calls us to humble ourselves, not to degrade ourselves. True humility, for the believer, recognizes that God is God and we are not. Apart from Him, we can do nothing, but in Him and through Him we can do all things (Philippians 4:13).

A spirit of humility does not say, “I am a loser.” Humility says, “I desperately need God.” Humility does not insist we are the scum of the earth. There are no second-class citizens in the Kingdom of God. Humility, instead, acknowledges we have incredible value which is not contingent upon what we can do, but rather is rooted in who, and whose, we are.

Women with eating disorders tend to be perfectionistic, achievement-oriented individuals. There is a tendency to believe if we just try harder, push ourselves more, and discipline ourselves more harshly, we will succeed. We have approached control of our food and our bodies this way, resulting in illness and disorder. Often we attempt to approach recovery with the same false belief that we can achieve our goals in our own strength and power if we just dig in and apply ourselves.

This belief sets us up for failure because we cannot (and were not designed to) overcome in our own strength. We were created to be complete, whole, and victorious in the Lord, and not apart from Him. Humility, then, does not simply say, “I can’t.”

Humility says, “I can’t, God can, and I choose to let Him lift me up.” And we find in recovery, as in life, when we humble ourselves before a loving and sovereign God, it is His delight to exalt us to heights we never could have achieved or even imagined on our own.

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by: Jena Morrow

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JenaMorrowJena Morrow’s debut book, “Hope,” chronicles her nearly three-decade-long battle with eating and body image issues. In her second book, “Hope for the Hollow,” Jena takes readers on a thirty-day devotional journey to challenge eating disordered thoughts and beliefs in light of God’s Word. In addition to being a writer, speaker, and activist for eating disorder awareness and prevention, Jena works as the Alumnae Coordinator at Timberline Knolls in Lemont, IL, a premiere residential treatment center for women and girls battling eating disorders, substance abuse, mood disorders, self-injury, and PTSD. Jena makes her home in a suburb of Chicago with her son, Jaden, his pet snake Stephanie, and a mischievous cat named Prim.

About Be the Light Editor

Martin Wiles is a minister, author, freelance editor, and English teacher who lives in Greenwood, SC. He is the founder of Love Lines from God and is the author of Grits & Grace and God and Grits, Gumbo and Going to Church. He serves as Managing Editor for Christian Devotions (www.christiandevotions.us) and Assistant Editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. He and his wife are parents of two and grandparents of three.