True Humility

Last weekend while attending Hope Force International training, I listened to an enlightening series, laced with wise, whispering words about humility.

Snug in my cushion of coziness, my spiritual understanding soared, engaged with interest yet slight discomfort due to truth (over)saturation. Still, in light of the perpetual parade of “amen’s” and “Yes, Lord’s”, I figured I’d deposit some fresh nuggets of delicious revelation on the cyber table of inquiry.

But enough of the verbiage. Let’s get down to “business”! Besides, most people simply want to know what humility is and how it works, a very nice place to start indeed…

So what about this facet of righteousness do we know?

For starters, most of us know humility involves a lack of pride, commonly noted behind the many pulpits of America. Others conjure up ideas of modesty and goodness of heart…all right answers, though I’d submit not completely correct.

Even worse are the mentalities of those who downplay humility to the point it’s not perceived as virtue. What is tragic? I know, Mr. Trebek.

Based on gathered receptions, I contend humility should be well received by present and future generations. Why? Because true humility is the genuine effort to be authentic, robed by a willingness to be recognized for who you really are. The bottom line goes back to that pleasure-quenching word: real. All definitions, rules, and boundaries bow to that which is true and sincere versus what is fake and artificial. It’s that simple. And who doesn’t like simple in a complex, muddled world of depravity?

Paul’s life was a story of two halves marked by defining irony. In the first half, (S)aul spent years counterfeiting his soul, putting on a sort of masquerading veneer to his divinely appointed identity. Briefly tapping into my sports enthuse, one could say his early years imitated the story of an underachieving basketball team sunk by turnovers and poor execution (no pun intended). And like bad court-play, Saul, through the persecution of what he would eventually become, set himself up for a major halftime deficit and a dramatic comeback.

Still, after two periods, Paul’s scoreboard with respect to humility wasn’t very good. No doubt, the demons surrounding his life were winning as he strode off to Damascus that climatic day. Of course, most of us know the conversion account, and how God used a regenerated Paul to change the spiritual landscape of the future. God’s victory through Paul at the end of the game would triumph…

What amazes me about Paul is his level of humility in his writings, teachings and words as his ministry matures…

Check out I Corinthians 15:9-11:

For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. Whether, then, it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.

Now that’s good stuff! For one thing, Paul provides the most basic yet profound twist on grace in the New Testament. By transforming grace, we are who we are – changed agents saved from sin’s sting of death. But note how he weaves humility in with grace throughout this passage. To be effective Christians, we have to be who we are, an intense blend of 1) how God designed us to 2) working hard to stay faithful to His commands, His mercy, His faithfulness, etc. If anyone needed a 1-2 punch on how to be a real person, there you go! Be true to yourself…IN CHRIST and be true to God. (As if you can hide anything from Him anyway…)

The buzzer sounds on your life and who do you want to be known for? The answers could vary, but the one consistent lining I’d vie for is being real…for real…

Humility. Chew and savor…

Bon appétit!

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