It's not Weakness; It's Strength
July 18, 2012 at 2:18 a.m.
"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross!"
We live in an arrogant age. The race of men have deemed themselves worthy of all that is around them. They continually speak of all that is their right or what they are entitled to. When they are treated harshly, then they are consoled by others who explain that they don't deserve such treatment.
I cannot simply refer to society as "they"; it is "we" and me as well.
Or children get everything they desire and aren't taught how to do without. They don't see what they are being given as being a privilege. They see it as a necessity or right. They deserve it.
I think of times when people drive down the road - if someone cuts them off or drives too slowly they get angry. In fact, people get angry for a lot of things these days. We don't seem to know how to take it easy anymore - our society is a high stress society.
We are arrogant people who say we are right and everyone else is wrong. We condemn more than the lifestyles that others live, we condemn the people that live them. We get angry and make sure we have the "right" to say our piece or to get them back for what they said or did. This is all arrogance.
Arrogance and selfishness go hand in hand. Every sin ever committed had its roots in selfishness. I can't think of a single sin that you can't boil down to selfishness.
Please don't get me wrong - I'm not pointing fingers at a lot that I'm not involved in. I'm just as guilty, though I'm learning to be more aware each day.
Through our arrogance we bicker and quarrel. We see humility as weakness, or at best we say we desire humility but keep acting in our arrogance. We have a hard time considering others as our equals or even as our superiors, though this is exactly what Jesus did. He put our needs before his own as he went to the cross for us.
Humility, I find, is not weakness. In fact, it takes a strong person to be humble, but those who are truly humble don't find strength in themselves for we are all frail humans. True strength that sustains humility is found in the confidence that God is sovereign and cares for each of us.
It is because of Jesus that I can take the insult without retaliation. It is through his strength that I feel no need to put myself first. It is only through his wisdom that I can put my wants aside for the sake of others' needs.
I have a long way to go as I seek the humility of Christ in me, but I desperately want it. Unfortunately, in order for anyone to learn humility God will put them in situations where they must practice it among people who aren't.
It's not easy, but it's worth it. In fact, there has been a recent study of the most successful businesses in America that showed that the vast majority of those business's leaders are successful because they are humble people who seek quality in their work without need for praise of others.
Even more so, however, the scripture reminds us over and over that God brings down the arrogant but exalts and gives grace to the humble.
May we become more like Christ as we seek true humility in our lives. May we do more than just say words that sound like humility - may we truly be humble. Then, may we be the catalysts for change in our communities as people see the nature of Christ in us, for if we continue in our arrogance we will only see decline and contempt for the church.
I hope this impacts you like it does me. I want this badly, and I'm going to be pursuing this. I don't expect it will happen overnight, but I want the nature of Christ to be event in me - Philippians 2 calls me to that.
If there is anything I can do for you feel free to contact me at the church office at 245-1611 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also start a conversation about this or any other of my articles at www.mrdobbs.org. God bless you as you humble yourself before Him.