Humility. What an unpopular word in today’s society or any society for that matter. Have you watched the news lately? Do the names Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton ring any bells?
I’m not even going there.
Pride is easy to spot from a mile away but when it comes to our own lives most of us would claim to be humble people. Take Moses for example. “Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.” (Numbers 12:3) Last time I checked Moses wrote the book of Numbers. Being the author of a statement commending your own humility seems to negate the very definition of the word.
Pride and humility. They are in direct conflict with each other.
And then we have Jesus. John 13 is the account of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. A classic example of humility in action. This may be a story you normally blaze past but I want to simmer on a few short verses that provide the very reason Christ could display this kind of humility.
“Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal…and began to wash his disciples’ feet.” (Verses 3-5)
Jesus knew his purpose. He knew where he came from. And he knew where he was going.
Pride is often a cover for insecurity. A humble person is grounded in something deeper than the fragility of another person’s opinion. And just like Jesus, we cannot be humble until we know the three things he knew: our purpose, where we came from and where we are going. In this sense, I guess another word for humility is security.
Jesus knew his purpose and we must as well. I don’t mean having every step of your life planned out. Purpose is deeper than a career, marital status or how many children you have. As a Christian, we all have a purpose to make disciples. We are to love God and love others. Jesus knew his purpose.
Jesus knew where he came from. My three year old niece sometimes begins statements with, “When I was with God…” Her mom told her that she is a gift from God and therefore sweet Adalyn believes she lived with God before coming to earth (love her). While we know this is true for Jesus, we also know that we were created by God. We were woven together by God. We know where we came from.
Jesus knew where he was going. At the end of his life here on earth he welcomed the opportunity to be back with his Father in heaven. We have the same hope of heaven if we are in Christ. This in and of itself allows us to be humble people; we know there is more than the here and now. We are secure in our eternity. And just like Jesus, we know where we are going.
If humility is a challenge for you, and I would guess it us for the majority of us, take some time to consider the life of Jesus. Not only do we have examples of how he lived humbly but we know his how. Jesus knew his purpose. He knew where he came from. He knew where he was going.
What is your purpose? Where did you come from? Where are you going? The answer to these questions may just lead to humility…because of security.