Humility is Hard.

Over the past few months, my thoughts have been turning towards humility on a pretty regular basis.  Part of this has to do with the ongoing study of Revelation that I am leading at the church.  Reading, discussing, or especially teaching a book as difficult and possibly controversial as Revelation is a humbling experience, one which I am very appreciative of.  I firmly believe that part of what God desires to do in and with us through our study of Scripture is to increase our humility.  With Scripture, as with so much else in this life, the more we know, the more we realize that we don’t know.

Secondly, being engaged and involved in a community of Christians will teach you humility in any number of ways.  Too often, we only say that we are humbled when we are proven wrong or have gone through some struggle or difficulty.  I’m feeling more positive today.  It is humbling to see people serving Jesus with all of their gifts and passions and skills.  It is humbling in a very good way to watch the fruits of faith in any number of ways in the church, with people serving excellently in ways that I’m not able to (nor would want to!)  

Finally (and maybe most importantly), my thoughts keep returning to Paul’s instruction in Romans 12:3 – “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought…”  The really important part is the first seven words: “for by the grace given to me”.  It’s not that we should think less of ourselves because we are horrible or irreparably broken, but because the only reason we have life and love and salvation is God’s grace.  Our lives as followers of Jesus Christ must point beyond ourselves – our good actions, our good intentions, our successes, even our failures.  Practicing humility basically means becoming transparent and allowing other people to see Jesus through you, your words and your actions.

This is hard work, because most of us love attention.  Humility is hard because it requires us to be smaller than we want to be.  Humility is hard because it means saying that we don’t know or we can’t do it.  Humility is hard because it requires us to be real about who we are and where we are weak and deficient.  Sounds like fun, right?  However, this humility is vital to being part of the body of Christ.  Paul connects this humility with life in the church.  He argues that we belong to one another, each one playing an integral part in the functioning of the whole.  Humility is key because is helps you to know that you belong to something greater than yourself and that you’re not part of a solo performance. 

Yeah, so I’m kinda thinking out loud here…sorry that it’s kind of scattered!  Just wanted to take the opportunity to share a few things that have been knocking around in my mind.   I’m praying that God would teach us what it means to be humble and lift one another up as we seek to serve our Lord!

Grace and Peace,

Wes 

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. De Hillyer
    Jan 25, 2013 @ 05:55:05

    I always value those people who dare to think out loud via the written word. The very act of writing about humility is, in itself, humbling. Thanks for this important reminder, and for your leadership (alongside Toni Ruth).

    Reply

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