Desert Wisdom: The “Water” of Humility

The early Christians did not believe tears ceased when repentance occurs (p. 102).  They continue to flow, but now from a different source.  They do not come from the pool of sin, but from the Headwaters of humility, which God puts into the heart by grace.

In the heart of men and women who genuinely love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength—and—their neighbors as themselves, tears will continue to flow as a sign of our nearness to God, not our separation from God.

We capture it in the contemporary prayer, “God, break my heart with the things that break your heart.”  This is not the prayer of a prideful person, but rather the prayer of a humble person, who deeply desires to know and feel the heart of God in relation to the things going on around him or her.

To be sure, we must “keep watch” lest our humility turn into another pride form, but we should not shun the tears of true humility just to avoid that temptation.  Instead, we should allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives to such an extent that the things which move the Heart of God also move ours.  Tears are one sign that this is happening.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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