…..but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
And being found in the appearance of a man, he HUMBLED himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!
Therefore God has exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father
Humility had to drag me kicking and screaming when I became a Christian.
I grew up being the eldest child with a brother who was only 13months younger than me, who was bigger, stronger and the only boy (he could do no wrong) and hence he won essentially got the role of eldest sibling! I always had to fight for my place, win my rights, make myself heard and in general I caused havoc for my parents! My teenage years were a case of me stretching the boundaries, breaking all the moulds, all whilst breaking my parent’s hearts – I was no wilting flower. Indeed I would say there are certain characteristics of my personality that I am glad I have because I wouldn’t last one day as a mum or a pastor’s wife, never mind one year, without that sense of not wanting to conform to the norm. I also went to an all girl’s school where if you didn’t stand up for yourself you were literally stood on! So all those things considered and a few other bumps along the way in my twenties becoming a Christian meant I had a lot of work to do and God had (has) a lot of refining to do in me.
My reflections recently have brought nothing but a deep sense of wanting more of God in my life and wanting that to come from a place of total humility. Pride and arrogance are not only horrible to be around but horrible to watch. I have spent time with some very humble, lovely people and every time I come away from them I have only ever thought about wanting their characteristics in my own life. I have also spent time with the opposite and only came away with a sour taste in my mouth. People who think they know it all, are right about it all and have it all are not necessarily people you want to spend a great deal of time with.
God has done an almighty miraculous work in my life and Glen and I are only more convinced a year into leadership that humility is where we need to lead from. It doesn’t mean that you let people walk all over you – in fact I believe there is more strength in a posture of humility rather than pride.
Don’t get me wrong there have been times where I want to dig my heels in and scream out loud ‘don’t play me for a fool!’ but in those times I try really hard to die to myself and remember actually Jesus humbled himself to death on a cross.
SO here it is: I am a person who no longer has the ‘under construction – do not enter’ sign over my head, but one with the ‘work in progress’ sign. If I was a car I would be one with the broken steering column; constantly in danger of drifting off the edge with my natural tendency to go my own way. My reactions and feelings – when I want to say “I know this! I’ve done this before! I can do this! Are you kidding me??” I drift in a certain direction because I am weak and my flesh wants to do what it has done for years, namely protect the rejection, be right, always be the first to speak (or the last) be defensive in my reactions, play the victim or dare I say always thinking it’s all about me. But I am fighting hard to go in Gods direction. Why? Not because He is making me but because it’s the best for me and some of this is just downright sinful. So I am pulling my mind, my flesh, my heart, my reactions, my emotions in the way God wants me to. I want to be seeing the best, wanting the best, giving the best, saying the best and loving the best (with His help of course).
I want to be more like Jesus, I want to fight the good fight and have strength of character that is pleasing to God. Jesus was humble and yet He was radical. Jesus was humble but He fought for justice. Jesus was humble yet He fought for the poor. Jesus was humble but He loved and welcomed the broken. Jesus was humble and yet He stuck up and fought for the widows and the orphans. Jesus was humble yet He knew and fought Gods righteousness to be lived in His people. Jesus was no wilting flower yet He led His ministry from a place of humility.
Only with and by God’s help by reading His word, praying, let others challenge me, coming under authority and most importantly letting His Holy Spirit change and guide me will I have a posture of humility. I believe with all my heart He who has started a good work will continue to do so…..