Lower is Higher
What does it mean to be humble? Really though; I mean what does it look like? I think that sometimes, especially in Christian circles, we tend to pin down exactly what a humble man looks like when seeing what he does. Whether it’s giving sacrificially, cleaning up after youth group, giving somebody a ride, spotting somebody when that person is short a few bucks… Whatever it is! Now, none of those things are bad at all. What I’m going towards is that it’s really easy define a humble man by deed rather than what’s dwelled about in their heart. Keep this in mind as I try to unpack a few things I’m learning from the Lord about being humble:
Humbleness isn’t a formula. It’s not something that you create, it’s something you acknowledge. Being humble means looking to Jesus, the hope of the world, while looking at yourself. It’s seeing you as you truly are, in all of your brokeness and sin that should separate you from God… But then contrasting that with the light of the Gospel of Jesus calling you, in all of your mess, to be a part of His kingdom in all of its glory. That’s the most humbling reality one could every come to know.
You can be humble in any situation you ever encounter. Really though, I mean being humble is just making much of Jesus and less about yourself. I define that as plainly as I can only because many have altered what being humble truly means. Humbleness has become a SAY thing and not a DO thing. I think humbleness is what we say we do on the surface, but something that’s not pursued in our hearts, it’s just thought about analytically.
What we have done is acknowledged that humbleness is a good thing, and haven’t moved away from the “knowing” of that truth. In doing that, we then clog the pathway from our head to our hearts, causing the two to be disconnected. This is a scary spot, and most people unfortunately aren’t honest enough with themselves and God to admit that they are guilty of this mindset. But the truth is that if intellect and obedience aren’t fluctuating, the heart will die. Intellect and obedience must fluctuate or the heart will harden.This way of thinking, and my attempt to redefine humbleness in a world that rejects it, is not an easy thing to consume. “He must increase greater, I must decrease.” -John 3:30 Christians want Jesus to increase in their lives, but we take it back when we read the rest of the verse and realize what’s required in us in order for Him to increase.
Now contrary to what might feel right, being lower is actually being higher. Do you know what I mean by that? Being on our knees in humbleness is where we belong. Fame, attention, rewards, acknowledgment; all are things that should ultimately be credited to God and not to ourselves. But that’s not always how things turn out… So here are 3 things that I think are worth mentioning when considering living a humble life:
1.) Humbleness is hard –> Seriously, being humble is hard! It’s not always comfortable, it doesn’t always seem profitable or worth your time. Being humble is hard because we are surrounded by a culture that encourages everybody to scream about themselves in their own way. Knowing that being humble is easy; but actually putting your knowledge into action is no easy task for anybody. Nobody has a default setting of being humble… NOBODY!
2.) Humbleness is holiness –> The difficulty of humbleness is unfortunately focused on more often than the holiness that we are pursuing. Scripture says that we are to be holy as our God is holy.. Pretty hard to do that, but it’s what we are called to. We understand that it’s hard, but it’s also moving us in a direction of greater holiness; and the portions of joy that we receive in our efforts are unbelievable.”For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” -Luke 18:14
3.) Humbleness is harmony –> There is this level of proportion between God and man. We live like the level should be straight… But humbleness actually points us downward and God upward. It’s like a titer toter and we’re on the bottom. When our location is low, we are in accordance to what God says our relationship with Him should look like. So what does your relationship look like? Are you and the Lord separated in proper proportion? Is it easy to distinguish which one is higher and which one is lower?
Pure humbleness alone is something we will never perfect; we will constantly be in the process of humbling. It’s not a spiritual gift or something that people are natural at. It’s a heart that’s muted itself so that the heart of Jesus can be heard.
Honestly, I really suck at being humble. But you know what, I bet that you probably do to.. So let’s work on it! Put yourself in a low position and let your humble posture aid to a clearer Lord that people will see in who you are.