Ruth fell at his feet and thanked him warmly. “What have I done to deserve such kindness?” she asked. “I am only a foreigner.”
“Yes, I know,” Boaz replied. “But I also know about everything you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband. I have heard how you left your father and mother and your own land to live here among complete strangers. May the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done.” [Ruth 2:10-12]
How often do we feel like we have to earn people’s recognition? How often do we feel like whether or not we are in the spotlight determines whether or not we are seen? Or how often do we let whether or not we are seen inherently decide whether or not we are worthy? I think these are things that we all struggle with at different times and in different capacities.
It can be so easy to give into the lie that we have to earn attention in order to be truly seen and truly loved. However, the story of Ruth actually teaches us a different truth–—a truth that we are encouraged to make our reality.
In the Kingdom, there is this interesting tension in that when we humble ourselves, we actually find God lifting us high. And it’s not that we go low for the glory of being lifted high. Rather, when we go low in actual humility and out of a love for God and for others, God can’t help but to lift us up. It’s His nature; it’s what He does.
In the book of Ruth, we see Ruth give up everything (and never for her own gain). She gives up the possibility of living in her homeland with her family. She gives up her pride when she goes and picks up scraps of grains out of fields. She gives it all up out of love for God and love for Naomi.
However, God shows up on Ruth’s behalf. He provides her food, drink, a husband, financial security. When she walked out humility, God responded in an abundant love.
This principle is not limited to this one circumstance either. This is a pattern shown over and over in the Bible. Jesus Himself acknowledges this saying that those who humble themselves will be exalted.
Now, I you might be like me and get worried that you’ll be acting humble just to be lifted high. However, I think if your intentions are love and not for the glory, you’ll know. You may have to have a very honest conversation with God and with yourself about your intentions behind your actions. But love will always produce humility and humility will always lead to love put into action. So, don’t worry so much about humility; rather, worry about love, and I think other things will fall into place for you.
Ask yourself these questions:
Where am I acting out of pride instead of humility?
What would it look like for me to love others in this situation instead of walking in pride?
What is one step I can take today to walk in humility?
Be real with yourself! And just give way to humility because that’s where I truly think you’ll find the most joy!
God, I repent for where I have done things in Your name but for my own benefit. God, I pray that You will give me a heart of true love that will lead me to true love. Thank You that you want to lift me up and that your heart for me is to walk in humility yet walk in celebration at the same time. You are SO good. I love You!!!!! Amen.