We live in a culture that is running a full out sprint to claim their rights and recognition. The sad truth is that this approach leaves the road of life filled with the wounded. It should not surprise us that Jesus’ approach was just the opposite. He calls His followers to emulate Him!
This past Wednesday evening we spent our small group time discussing humility. Our study of the early years of King Solomon led to several practical applications for you and I. The Apostle Peter emphasizes the significance of humility when he teaches, “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, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:5–7) Now before I share a couple observations from my own life, let me point out that our humility works with God while our lack of humility, or pride, works against God. Let me also add the most important time to be humble is when in the midst of conflict. The power of humility is released in our lives when we strive to put others first.
The power of humility is released when we approach others we are in conflict with by asking something like, “Have I offended you in some way?” with the intention of making things right on your end. All too often we come in with guns blazing and that only aggravates the situation. It also implies that even when we are offended we go to the other person. The mature person should always go whether they are the offended or the offender.
The power of humility is released when we let others share the glory of an event in their lives. It is too easy for those of us with similar experiences to trump the other person by sharing our story. Many times we do that in essence by saying “Me too!” “Me too!” rather than letting the other person be the focus of attention. Our self-aggrandizement gets old with others rather quickly.
The power of humility is released when we do the menial tasks of life that others have ignored. It could be picking up trash or even laundry for that matter. Here is what we often miss. The other person may never notice or appreciate what we have done, but the Lord does. This practical humility is an incredible teacher and motivator to others, especially our children.
The power of humility is released when we accommodate rude people. You know like the person that want to cut the line whether it is in traffic or at the store. Humility pulls us out of our own self focus and let’s them continue to be …well rude. The power here is that we can maintain a spirit of peace rather than being drawn into a conflict.
Lastly, the power of humility is released when we become comfortable in our own skin and with our relationship with God. The power here is that we are released from the expectation we place upon ourselves and that others place upon us. When we embrace who we are in Christ and his call upon our lives to live for Him we are freed from living in the rat race. We are able to live above it.
I would encourage you in your reading of the Gospel accounts to notice how Jesus released the power of humility in daily living!
-Pastor Joe Parkinson