Cultivating Humility: Getting better over time. Part 3.
Author: Ryan Internicola
I’m just going to say it: you’re probably wrong about humility. Does that hurt your pride?! A lot of folks in the Church have got this one all twisted up. They think humility means to hate yourself, to call yourself “garbage”; “I’m filthy! I’m worthless! I’m… HUMBLE!” Wrong.
Jesus is humble. “...I am gentle and humble in heart…” Matthew 11:29. Does He actually think that He is garbage? If He did, wouldn’t that be tremendously offensive to the Father? It would be in complete opposition to the Father’s opinion of His Son! “‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’” Matthew 3:17.
The Greek word for “humble” means “not rising far from the ground”. It implies that Jesus didn’t lift Himself up; He allowed His Father to do that. This is consistent with His other statements on humility, like Matthew 23:12 “And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Jesus understood His job. He understood that His job was to exalt the Father, and it was the Father’s job to exalt Him. So it is with us, worshippers! Our job is to exalt, lift up, Jesus! His job, His desire that He is absolutely bent upon, is to exalt us!
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” 1Peter 5:6
It’s a little hard to handle, isn’t it?
To humble yourself is to accept that it is not your job to exalt yourself. It is to trust God to lift you up and promote you at the right time. It is to free yourself from the burden of self-promotion! You are now free to do what you were created to do: exalt the Father!
“The Industry” tells us we have to fight for ourselves, grasp for every opportunity, get ahead of everyone else. Do you see how this goes against the current of the Kingdom? It actually comes from a place of insecurity and unbelief. We do this when we don’t trust God to promote us in His timing. We do this when we don’t believe how highly He thinks of us. We feel we must prove ourselves worthy.
Now, I am all for advancing in our callings! We should absolutely put in the work to get better! Practice your instrument! Seek out coaching for your voice! Become a better communicator, more organized, increase your people skills! It is totally ok to “advertise” and let people know what you are involved in. Yes, invite others to benefit from what God is doing through you! Just be clear on the motivation of your heart: are you seeking out opportunities to you exalt yourself and prove that you are worthy? Or, are you seeking out more opportunities to exalt Jesus and lift up people?
When you trust God to do His job, you are free to do yours! This includes promoting others. You are secure. You don’t need to grasp for every opportunity and get ahead of everyone else. Now you are free to give opportunities away to others! You begin partnering with God in His work of exalting people!
You know what I have found? The more opportunities I give away, the more God gives me! The more I promote others, the more God promotes me! That’s the way the Kingdom works! Sure, if you strive for yourself you can build something impressive in appearance. It will last for moment; maybe even the moment of this lifetime. And then, you will have to speak with Father about why you used His resources to build something that wouldn’t last for eternity. I want to minimize those conversations in my life!
You know how medications have side effects? Well, humility has a side effect too: kindness. Now that you trust God to promote you and you are secure in His high opinion of you, your eyes can rest from looking out for yourself. You begin to notice others. You see the greatness in them and grow a desire for that greatness to arise. Everyone you meet shines with a different frequency of Christ’s light. You speak to it. You encourage them. You act for them. Not so they will return the favor. Not so they will do something for you. Just because you’re starting to pick up on God’s pleasure. You’re starting to love what He loves: exalting others.