February 29

…I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof. Luke 7:6

These are the words of one of the greatest men of faith who was alive during the years of Jesus’ earthly ministry – the Roman centurion at Capernaum. We can see immediately that humility is the close friend of true faith. This man did not believe in himself, in his riches (and he must have been rich, to build a synagogue for the Jews!) or in any other gift or ability that he had. The healing of his slave was not a reward for anything he had done – it was a gift that was bestowed on him through faith. My hand may receive a gift, but it does not earn it! So, too, faith is the means to receive, not the virtue that earns. Though this man did not believe in himself, it does not mean that he hated himself. He had a balanced and accurate view of himself. A person who is filled with self-loathing is not virtuous and believing! This is a depressed condition, and is neither humble nor balanced. We are to see that we are helpless, but not abandoned; we are unable, but enabled. Faith may operate from terrible circumstances, but it has a joy of wondering confidence that God is good, and cannot fail the person who casts themself on Him.