Many years ago we hiked the Grand Canyon as a family. One of the many highlights was going to the Ranger Talks in the evening. This particular evening, there was going to be a scorpion hunt once it was dark enough. The specifics of the talk on the night life in the canyon had the same effect of a spooky story around the campfire. We did not have any takers interested in going scorpion hunting. The talk ended well after dark and we had to hike half a mile to get back to our tents. The kids were only thinking about one think on the way home, not meeting a scorpion!
You can imagine, the kids did not wander ahead that night. They stayed close to dad! It is funny now, as we still talk about that night and “Scorpion Hunting.” The account reminds me that we also find security in our Heavenly Father. The Bible reminds us that the opposite of humility is pride. Pride is really a person trying to be god. It manifests itself in a “know it all” attitude. It is also seen in the condescending treatment of others. You will even find displays of it in a temper tantrum and even pouting. It seems to me that pride is an attempt to compensate for something that is missing in our lives. The root need of course is a dynamic relationship with the Creator of Heaven and Earth.
Humility on the other hand is the overflow of a dynamic (growing) relationship with Jesus. Humility is a manifestation of trust. It is not a trust in ourselves, others, or our circumstances, but in God. This trust enables us to take a back seat to ourselves, others, or even the circumstances of life, and let God drive. Our greatest example of the trust involved in humility is Jesus Himself. Humility is the God-given antidote to the ails of our time. It is really one way of tapping into God’s power and results in blessing. Peter reminds us of this when he said, “Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,” 1 Peter 5:5–6 ESV
The reason why you and I can pursue humility. Why we can be falsely accused. Why we can be taken advantage of. Why we can fall on our swords to resolve a conflict is because we know that our God is in control. Now, humility is not easy or natural, but as Peter reminds us, it is the path Jesus calls us to walk. All too often, like that night in the Grand Canyon, we allow our fear of a hypothetical future, the unknown scorpions, to control us rather that finding security in the presence of our Heavenly Father. So, if you are in one of those tough places in life, let me encourage you to take some time to draw near to your Savior. You will be surprised how it will change you perspective on the world and cultivate humility in your life situation.
-Pastor Joe Parkinson