Throughout scripture we are challenged to humble ourselves before the Lord. And most of us, respond to this challenge by going to one extreme or another.
- You deflect. Some of you even now, as you read this, it rubs you the wrong way. You immediately deflect and think, “You know it’s not that I’m not humble, I just have a loud personality, I just have strong opinions, and there’s certain things I deserve.” And instead of serving, we think “how can people serve me?” We deflect.
- Others go to the other extreme. You wallow. Some of you hear the idea of humility and not thinking of yourself highly, and you think, “Well that’s one thing I don’t struggle with.” “I’m very in tune with my flaws and my inadequacies.” We’ll say things like, “You know I don’t think I could disciple someone or serve in an area because I don’t really have it all together.” “I’m not really qualified. I don’t know enough.” And instead of serving, we think, “I’m just going to lay low and not put myself out there.” We wallow. Did you know that the definition of wallow, like the technical definition, is to “relax in mud”? I didn’t either, I just looked it up for this. But what a great picture that paints for us! How many of you right now know God is calling you to step out and serve in an area of your life or in the church and get connected, but you just think, “Nah I’ll just lay low, it’s too much of a commitment to get up, I mean what if I fail, what if it’s awkward?” And you just lie in the mud. You wallow.
You see in both scenarios, whether you deflect and say, “How can people serve me?” or you wallow and say, “I could never serve anyone”, you miss out on this grand story that God is writing through the local church. The point is not to wallow, not to deflect, but to fix your eyes on Jesus and serve as he has served us.
C.S. Lewis said this, “As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you.”
The key to a humble life is not looking at ourselves, not even looking at others, but looking up.