Hard to Be Humble

Hard to Be Humble

“O Lord, it’s hard to be humble,
When you’re perfect in every way.
I can’t wait to look in the mirror,
‘Cause I get better looking each day
To know me is to love me,
I must be a heck of a man
O Lord, it’s hard to be humble
But I am doing the best that I can.”

Mac Davis sung this song on the Muppets!  I think it strikes a cord with us because we all realize the daily battle we face trying to live humbly.  We do not want to think of ourselves as arrogant but how often do we find ourselves bristling at some well intention-ed advice, handing out advice like candy, eagerly sharing our opinion on every matter, mumbling about how no one knows how to drive but us, or looking down our nose at the person who decides to buck the crowd with their dress or hair style?  If we are not careful, we quickly become the standard as to how the rest of the world should act, dress, speak, or think about anything or everything.  

Now, if you are believer in Jesus it becomes even more complicated.  Jesus calls us slaves.  We soften the word to servants because one seems more like a good employee rather than one who gives up everything. Either way, though, way we are called to humility each day.  It gets harder when we realize that we are called to serve Jesus by serving one another.  It is one of those concepts that makes great sermons and we leave church with the best intentions but then someone treats us like a servant and we humble want to...you fill in the blank (my mind went to the Hulk...HULK SMASH).

A friend shared with me this quote:  “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but not thinking of yourself at all”.  My reaction was not a good one.  If that is true then humility is impossible.  The quote sounds great.  It seems to build you up in the first half but then crushes you to a fine powder with the second half.  I kind of walked away with an attitude of utter defeat.  Why strive to be humble when the whole goal is to not think of yourself, which is impossible to do.  Even Paul, in Philippians 2, did not command us to not think of ourselves but to think of others as better than ourselves.  That I can do.  It doesn’t mean that I have to put myself down and believe everyone else is better but it means that I strive to change my thinking so that I work hard at treating others as if they are better.  Way more attainable.

So what do we do with this exhortation to be humble?  The key is to preach the gospel to yourself every day.  Be reminded of the fact that you had no hope.  You were dead in your sin.  But God, who is rich in mercy, made you alive and everything you have, every breath your take, your eternal hope is because of Jesus.  Take time each day to learn more and more about those truths.  Be overwhelmed by the work of God in your life.  Learn and grow in your role in sanctification but first meditate on the work that Jesus is doing to give you life.

In John 13 Jesus washed the disciple’s feet.  A humble act of service. Listen to what John said about the heart of Jesus, “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose…”  The more I know that all things are from my Father, the more I who I am in Christ, and the more I rejoice in where I am from and where I am going, the more those truths will give me a proper perspective and they will free me to live humbly and wash others feet.

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