Wednesday Word: Is Humility Painful?
I remember being asked this question before by a Pastor in a sermon. I have thought about this question a lot over the years and I think I’ve come to really understand what he was asking. If humility, true humility, is in essence Jesus Christ, then humility is certainly about sacrificing one’s own needs, wants and desires for those you love and care for.
So, yes, humility can certainly be a painful and difficult process, even though the pain may be internally felt or perceived. However, in this reality, if it is true humility, is not the “felt pain” showing a lack of humility? Unless our humility is like that of Christ in that we are literally being put to death on a cross, most of our daily acts of humility are simply removing our own wants and desires and inserting others ahead of our own. Therefore, if we feel pain for this, aren’t we then longing for something we “wished” we would have had, hence replacing humility with covetousness?
These are hard subjects to grasp, but I think it’s something that we all struggle with from time to time. Andrew Murray authored one of my favorite books simply titled, Humility. The book has many wonderful nuggets of wisdom, but here is one:
“It is in our relationships to one another, in our treatment of one another, that the true lowliness of mind and the humility of heart are to be seen. Our humility before God has no value unless it prepares us to reveal the humility of Jesus to our fellowmen.”
These are simply Biblical mandates--
“By love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13
“Therefore...walk...with all lowliness and meekness, with long suffering, forbearing one another in love.” Ephesians 4:1-2
And again in Colossians, “Put on...mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long suffering, forbearing one another, and forgiving one another,...even as Christ forgave you.” (Colossians 3:12-13)
You all know me and often I use songs to reinforce my point. Well, as the late Mac Davis said,
“Oh, Lord, it’s hard to be humble!” Well, yes, it is! It’s not supposed to be easy. Sacrifice of self is never going to be easy. But, Jesus, our ultimate benchmark of humility, has taught us that humility is not possible without love. “Honor one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12:10b)
Keep loving out there!