November 17, 2011

Spiritual Disciplines XXXVII: Humility

My Wife Tells Me The Truth

My wife tells me the truth about myself whether I want her to or not and this is a good thing. She just tells me how it is. I need this in life because I need a truthful point of view on things besides my own which I know will be biased to my prejudices. Neutral statements are valuable in that they at least get a person to stop or at least pause and reflect. Whether the statements are valuable or not they enforce a shifting of gears to navigate that given portion of life. Ripping through things all the time is never a good idea. It is better to be proactive rather than reactive. Reactive is often knee-jerk and not methodically reasoned through. Haste makes waste.

Humility Is Hard

Humility has never come completely easy to me. Often times I can just swallow my pride and get over myself but there are times that it is very hard. This is especially true when I have been disrespected all day long by everyone I have come in contact with in that day. It grows old towards the end and the flesh in me rears up to fight back. I sort of feel I need to demand respect from people. I guess this inevitably comes from an over-evaluation of my self-worth. The truth is if Jesus made himself of no accord as noted in Philippians 2, I deserve even less than He. Unfortunately, I wrestle with the flesh that almost overrides the mind at times and I become confrontational and get an attitude about it. As I’ve gotten older this has diminished but it has not disappeared completely. Having humility is hard and that is why people usually need to work at it. We as humans especially in this day and age are indoctrinated with the belief we have things coming to us, we deserver stuff or believe that their is some intrinsic value in us or something we have to offer. This may be true for some towards other people but on the eternal scale of things and in relation to salvation. We have nothing to offer God. Nothing. We can only have faith in Him...and be thankful for His grace.

Admirable Qualities

Humble people have a meekness about them that is reassuring. These are people that could probably run circles around me but are secure enough and self-assured in Christ enough to realize it is more productive to serve and get under people to lift than up rather than stand over them and drum them over the head trying to get them to do what they want them to do. Proper servant leadership is the understanding that one must be humble and servant enough to train and equip people to do their job properly…not do it for them by micromanaging.

Recognizing True Humility

True humility puts other people first. This holds true whether a person is in the top of an organization or at the bottom hierarchically. True presbyters and leaders in the Church are willing to get under and serve the body and in so doing they are elevated by not only God but also in the eyes of those that they help and serve. It is just another case of lowering yourself by choice and allowing God to elevate you in Christ. In God’s created order, your position is not based on vertical altitude, your position is based on your horizontal attitude and how you treat others and how you yourself respond to both God and others.

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