Ben's been talking about pride the last few weeks. This past Sunday he talked about humility being the opposite of pride (or something like that). He talked about how we should focus outwardly and build others up, encourage them, compliment them etc.
But humility, that word I think stops some people in their tracks.
I said that word to someone the other day and they looked at me as if I were crazy. They asked, "Why should I believe in a God that requires me to humiliate myself to be near to him"
So I turn again to dictionary.com for assistance:
the quality or condition of being humble; modest opinion or estimate of one's own importance, rank, etc.
not proud or arrogant; modest
to cause (a person) a painful loss of pride, self-respect, or dignity; mortify.
So often people get the two confused, humility and humiliation are not the same thing.
But I know I've struggled with it myself on and off. I think the problem isn't with the words, and the problem isn't with God.
The problem is with us. This idea that being humble is about being a doormat, quiet and meek not troubling anyone for anything or any reason.
But I can be humble and stand up for myself and frankly I find it insulting when you call me a doormat. Some things are just not that important to me.
I can apologize that what infuriates you does not infuriate me. But what else would you have me do?
It's just someone cutting me off.
It's just someone slighting me in a way that I don't appreciate.
But maybe they didn't mean it. Maybe they didn't notice. Maybe they're having a worse day then I am. Maybe their mind is wandering and they aren't paying attention.
There are so many reason I think that people behave the way they do, in the way they offend others, in the way they insult others or "humilate" them in seemingly intentional ways.
But so what?
When is it enough to push back? Ever?
In the book "Mean Girls all Grown Up" the author (the name escapes me) has a whole chapter on being offended. She talks about how to the point of dying on the cross Christ wasn't offended expect when people spoke against his Father in Heaven.
So who exactly do we think we are when a 2 second delay because someone cut us off cause an avalanche of expletives to erupt from our mouths?
Yet when someone says the GD word, or derides our God we say nothing.
Now I'm not talking about "going to battle for the Lord" or anything like that. We can stick up for our Lord perfectly fine using kind words and actions.
I'm talking about saying nothing in defense of the Lord that saved you for fear your friends, families, co-workers, strangers even will think you a Jesus Freak and not want to play with you anymore.
Having humility is nowhere near being humiliated.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.
1 Peter 5:5
Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." [ Prov. 3:34]