HUMILITY – FEBRUARY, 2019
In God’s sight, heroes share many characteristics, but humility is also most always listed as a description of their attitude toward God, others, and life itself. Humility is the cornerstone of faith and is essential for a mature, healthy relationship with God. David (Psalm 131), Habakkuk (Hab. 2:1), and Paul (I Thess. 2:1-8) grounded their faith in the soil of humility, serving others as their service to God. Humility can be difficult to practice, but it is something a Christian must strive to achieve. Humility is where growth as a Christian must begin. As a new Secret Service agent in 1971, I was told that whenever I entered a big arena with the President and the spotlight shone on me, the crowd rose in applause, and the music was “Hail to Chief,” I was to remember that none of that was for me! It was always for someone else. That demonstrates what it is to live as a Christian. It is never about me. It is always about God and His will. I strive to establish humility as my default attitude. Micah 6:8 is clear, “What does God require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” I cannot act justly or treat others kindly if I lack humility in my daily life. If I am walking with God every day, then a humble attitude is in the forefront of my conscious thought. I then will start to see things through Christ’s eyes and begin to grow in a “spiritual service of worship.” Abraham Lincoln (and/or Danny Thomas) famously said, “No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child.” That is modern parlance for how to mirror Christ in life. There are plenty of opportunities for us to stoop over and serve so that others can look up and see God. Sometimes we fail to see the opportunities, but more often we see them and find some reason not to act. Proverbs 15:33–16:9 tells us that God demands that we leave our “comfort zone” because we are His.
– Jack Vanderpool
This year we are focused on remodeling ourselves to be more like Christ. On February 3, we began our focus on humility. At the same time, Super Bowl mania raged and the news media hyped the game.
One of the many football stories available to read that week was in the Wall Street Journal. It highlighted retired football star Terry Bradshaw. Bradshaw played for 14 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers and won four Super Bowl titles in a six-year period. In 2006, Bradshaw donated his four Super Bowl rings, College Football Hall of Fame ring, Pro Football Hall of Fame ring, Hall of Fame bust, four miniature replica Super Bowl trophies, and other Super bowl memorabilia to his alma mater, Louisiana Tech.
Bradshaw now lives on his ranch in Oklahoma and notes that he “is not big on shrine rooms.” He says “there is not a single piece of football memorabilia” in his home.
I can’t help but contrast the actions of Terry Bradshaw with O.J. Simpson, who in 2007 led a group of men into a hotel room and stole his own sports memorabilia from a dealer at gunpoint. Those actions led to a conviction for kidnapping, armed robbery, and assault, resulting in a 33-year sentence (he served 9 years.)
We are tempted to equate being humble with being weak. However, Solomon tells us in Proverbs 11 that, rather than weakness, it is humility that exemplifies wisdom! Proverbs 11:3 says “when pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.” (NIV)
Humility is the opposite of aggressiveness, arrogance, boastfulness, and vanity. Those traits do not bring wisdom—or peace and love—along with them. However, when we let Christ fill our hearts with true humility, we will find that we act wiser and make better choices, and that our transformed life brings peace and love.
When we take time to really think about God, his power, his majesty, and his love for us, we should be humbled. When I take time to really think about his creation, I can’t help but be amazed! The whole universe is amazing, but sometimes we need to stop and look at the small things: a flower blooming, the beautiful birds, leaves as they change colors, newborn babies, a child’s laughter, and so many other things that we experience daily. But we become so accustomed to these things and often we don’t stop and smell the roses. The most amazing thing about God is that he loves you and me so much that he sent his only son to earth to live and die as the perfect sacrifice so that all mankind could have hope of a home in heaven with him. John 3:16-17 says, “God so loved the world that he sent his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but in order that the world might be saved through him” (ESV). God wants us to spend eternity with him, and went to extreme measures to make this possible! I hope you will join me in taking time each day to think about God’s magnificent creation and his undying love for us. I believe that if we do this, humility will be apparent in our lives.