Taking an honest look at humility in our times.
Humility has never been easy. As humans, we have a natural inclination toward selfishness. We do not need to be taught how to be selfish because it comes naturally for us. Humility, on the other hand, takes sincere submission to God and a powerful enabling of the Holy Spirit. What are we to do in the times we live in, when selfishness is not just accepted but greatly promoted? Humility is more and more rare today but service to God seems to be constantly increasing. Are we missing something here? I believe we are, and I simply can’t help but share with you about the importance of being humble in our service to God and people. Just writing this article humbles me, because I have just begun to grasp what this beautiful quality means for my own life, but I feel called to share it with you because it is something that God brings to my attention again and again, especially because we live in such egotistical times. Would you do me the honor of looking at humility together? Let’s take an honest look at this forgotten but central aspect of our Christianity. Why is it so important? Because we are called to serve God by serving others, and never to serve ourselves.
Now Jesus was fully aware that the Father had placed all things under his control, for he had come from God and was about to go back to be with him. So he got up from the meal and took off his outer robe, and took a towel and wrapped it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ dirty feet and dry them with his towel. John 13:3-5 (TPT)
He was about to lay down His life for His disciples and for the whole world but before doing the unthinkable He wanted to prepare His disciples for what was to follow. How did they respond when Jesus was betrayed into the hands of the authorities? They wanted to fight back by using force and eventually ran and left Him alone. They simply didn’t get it but do we? Our reaction to God’s call of humility or self-denial can be summed up in the reactions that the disciples had on the night Jesus was betrayed. We want to use human force to defend ourselves or simply run away and choose the easy way in the moment of testing. This episode is a cruel and terrifying one but it is one that shows us in such vivid details what Christ was wanting to portray to His disciples and to the whole world. Jesus had authority over everything and He willingly laid it all aside, just like He calls us to lay down our self even though we have been given the authority to exercise it in whatever way we want. Jesus could have so easily demanded service from them but He humbled Himself by serving them. This is completely opposite to the trends we see even in the church today, and if we were honest, in our very own service to God. Somehow, we have started to believe the lie that serving God means serving ourselves- be it making a name for ourselves or building a Christianity that suits our own ambitions. This is not what Christ did, and tragically, we will never truly follow Him unless we will choose the road less taken of self sacrifice.
“The greatest among you will be the one who always serves others. Remember this: If you have a lofty opinion of yourself and seek to be honored, you will be humbled. But if you have a modest opinion of yourself and choose to humble yourself, you will be honored.” Matthew 23:11-12