Alright, I dusted off an old Bible study on character. I did this independent study about 8 years ago. I was at the lowest point in my emotional and spiritual life. It was the time that I was wanting to literally disappear because I didn’t think anyone would notice if I was no longer around.
With some girlfriends and a very supportive hubby, I began the slow climb upwards in spiritual maturity. Not that I have reached the pinnacle of my climb….. not even close but it has been an uphill battle with my pride fighting every step of the way.
Interesting enough the first chapter of the study is about humility. Not humiliation mind you…… humility. You know one of the two words Jesus, Himself, described His character….. gentle and humble (Matthew 11:29).
And to truly understand how we interpret humility John Ortberg summed it up in two simple sentences…..
We’d all like to be humble. But what if nobody notices?
Um….. isn’t that soooo true. We practice humility for someone else’s sake. Is that what God wants? Um… NO. Why should we care if our humility is noticed? If that is what we find important don’t you think that is the total opposite of humility? Uh…. Like….. Pride.
I will be totally honest with you…… I have “been humble” just for recognition. Oh yeah. And I am not proud of it. Bet I’m not alone.
Do we practice the “look at me” humility because we see humility as compelling? an attractive quality? likable? Irresistible?? It feels good to be recognized. But here’s the kicker…… the thing that is so attractive, likable, irresistible and compelling is the attitude of other-centeredness. When we put on the “look at me” humility, we are self centered. We are doing it for our own benefit. We are getting the reward….. or at least we think (or choose to think) we do. But in all reality, we are left with just the residue of empty self pleasing pride.
Do I want to strive to be truly humble? Yes, of course! How do I do that???
That’s the key.
We must keep in mind our relation with God. Yes, that’s right. Where is God in all this humility that I am producing? Is He the center? the drive? I mean look at it this way. Humility is the result of an accurate view of God. Think about it…… if we really see our relation to God, and I mean honestly look hard and deep, naturally our perspective is humbling. We shouldn’t compare ourselves or our humility to others. Nope but to Jesus Christ. It is only then we see our true nature. Our sinfulness. Our pride.
This one is a bit harder to do…… I mean when we see the awe of God’s goodness and compare it to our little lives….. humility happens. But what if we turn the perspective to our cohabitants of this little planet. Yes, the very people we want to hear recognition from……. Hang with me here….. This is a little harder to wrap our minds around.
When we start placing value on God’s perspective of our lives and less value on others’, we begin to see that not only are WE valued but every person on this Earth is valued by God. We share His favor. We can not go around thinking everyone else is better than us….. and we definitely can’t go around boasting our “look at me” pride….. but in the middle there is this value factor that is called humility. We take our eyes off of other’s viewpoints and off of our own……. Basically, we should live out our days thinking about the fact that every person we meet has the same value factor in God’s eyes as we do…… nothing better….. nothing worse. Kinda strips the old pride thing away. And it kinda wants you to help others as well…….
So let’s take off the “Did you See Me” attitude of humility……. And for heaven’s sake, strip yourself of the “Everyone is so much better than me” thoughts…… And let’s look out of God’s eyes and see….. everyone does have a value.
Humbling isn’t it.