Brett sped down the road skillfully dodging in and out of traffic. Ignoring Brett’s attempt at race car driving I looked out the window and noticed a speed limit sign posting a 45mph limit. I glanced over at the speedometer, the needle pointed to 65mph. Brett wasn’t wearing his contacts or his glasses, so I wasn’t sure he had seen the sign. I decided we didn’t want to pay for a speeding ticket so I said, “The speed limit is 45 and you are doing 65.” He glanced over at me so I knew he had heard what I said, but he didn’t bother to move his foot from the accelerator to the brake. Instead he said, “Speed limits are for other people.” and then re-focused on his driving and continued to dodge in and out of traffic.
I have celebrated 48 birthdays, which breaks down into approximately 2500 weekends. I have spent most of those weekends attending church. I have read the Bible through once so I have read all the wisdom the Bible has to offer me as guidance in how to live my life. Unfortunately, while I generally pride myself on having a pretty good memory, some things I seem to be able to hear over and over again and just don’t “get”.
In the course of my nearly 2500 weekends of attending church I’m sure I have sung the song, “Humble Thy Self In The Sight Of The Lord” more times than I could count. But, I never really gave much thought to what it meant to be a humble person until recently. Just like Brett who heard me say he was going twenty miles over the speed limit but did nothing about it, I have heard sermons about humility, read all the Bible texts about humility, and sung songs about humility but never did an examination of my own life in search of humility.
Consider these words of Christ, “I am among you as the One who serves.” Luke 22:27. Those are the words of Jesus, but I think humans as a whole are generally inclined to say, “I am here to show you the way. Look at me, see how much I know, listen to me and some day you can be as great as I am.”
Jesus lived a life of humility. If I haven’t fully clothed myself in the humility of Jesus then everything else I’ve put on are just trappings. Literally. If I haven’t accepted the humility of Jesus than I am trapped in all the various ‘prides’ in the world . Intellectual pride. Ownership pride. Perfectionist pride. Stubborn pride. The problem with my being trapped in pride is that I am constantly participating in it, not even knowing it.
“Let us admit that there is nothing so natural to man, nothing so insidious and hidden from our sight, nothing so difficult and dangerous, as pride…….It is pride that made redemption necessary. It is from our pride we need, above eveything to be redeemed.” (Humility, Andrew Murray)
My ultimate prayer needs to be, “God, be the root of my life, so that all my thoughts and actions, every, branch, leaf, and fruit of my life springs from the strength of Your humility. True humility requires the kind of strength that only God can provide.
For the LORD takes pleasure in his people; He adorns the humble with salvation. Psalm 149:4
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Philippians 2:3
With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love. Ephesians 4:2
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8