In your relationship with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross! Philippians 2:5-8
It is the one garment that always seems to allude me just as I’m grabbing onto its hem to pull it over my head. Even as a girl, it seemed like an impossible thing to achieve because, as my thirteen-year-old mind reasoned, as soon as you decide to be humble, you become aware of your awesome humility and slip right back into pride.
Although my thirty-one-year-old mind has a better understanding of what humility actually is and what it looks like played out in every day life, I still struggle to walk in it. I like to pray for it like I used to pray for joy, “Lord, please GIVE me joy/humility. Take note that I did not ask you to TEACH me either of those things. Please just open my heart and slip them right in. Thanks so much.”
The last seven years of my life were one long lesson on joy and contentment. I think now we’ve moved into humility. Apparently, God misunderstood my prayers. Everything I read tells me to bow low, and I am stirred to move deeper into a place that looks like my mouth being shut far more. It looks like me stepping back and letting others shine brighter. It looks like catching spit-up in my hand while I pray about how I can help other women know more about themselves and about Jesus. It looks like me not being a big deal.
Do you ever just wish you could be a big deal, though…and revel in it?
I do sometimes. Not all the time, but sometimes I just want people to know that I/my husband/my kids – we are good at stuff – and not just skills good but also, like, being sweet and kind people who are seeking Jesus. I want people to know.
OR I want people to know that they are not a big deal. That they are not any more special than anyone else – not in skills or in character – and that they seriously need to get over themselves.
Obviously this is not an area of sin in my life. Obviously.
And so I wrestle it out. I begin to grasp that this humility thing – it’s ALL about taking every thought captive. As in tackle them to the ground, bind them up in the grace of Jesus, and throw them into the pit. Lots of times, that looks like staying silent or standing behind. It looks like being the odd man out and letting others tell me about themselves and their lives and not needing them to ask me about mine. It looks like giving simple, honest answers when I am asked about my own life – even if those answers paint me messier than I’d like. It looks catching the spit-up, cleaning the toilets, and playing referee over someone looking at the other’s vitamins the wrong way. I can’t make this stuff up, people. It looks like doing it without expecting anything in return at all.
Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; SO he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. John 13:3-6
Jesus knew who He was in the eyes of His Father, SO he gladly bowed low before those He led. When it comes right down to it, my desire to be a big deal points to a security that is lacking in my relationship with God. It points to my lack of rest in being a big deal to Him. It points out my lack of faith. But if I believed with my I whole heart – that belief would release me from any need to be a big deal to anyone else and therefore free me to serve others in loving humility.
I choose to embrace these lessons of humility because I want to grow in wisdom and peace. That doesn’t mean I have to think it’s fun – but I am doing my best to lean into it instead of fight against it.
Humility and wisdom are a package deal. And often the people who have the most wisdom have experienced the most humility. Or sometimes even the most humiliation. A wisdom like none other can arise from those hard places that bring us low.
*These scriptures were paired for me in the O Come Let Us Adore Him devotional on the SheReadsTruth app. It’s a great tool for daily Scripture reading.