Monday, June 4, 2012

Scripture vs. Society: Humility

Hey everyone! Welcome to our first summer series! We hope you enjoy this, we've thought long and hard about what kind of series to do this summer and we believe this is just the thing! Emily has been hard at work putting together about 22 posts for this series called Scripture vs. Society. This summer we'll be walking through a ton of different topics, what the popular world-view is and then what scripture says about it. I'm working on a shorter series that I hope to begin posting soon. Thanks for your love and support!  - Chelsey and Emily

Humble (adj.)

1.      marked by meekness or modesty in behavior, attitude, or spirit; not arrogant or prideful
2.      showing deferential or submissive respect
3.      Low in rank, quality, or station; unpretentious or lowly
If I am to speak bluntly, our western world is a culture of competition; we worship success to the detriment of our health, families, and values. It’s instilled in us since elementary school (I know we all remember picking teams in gym class...except for you homeschoolers lol), it follows us through college and adulthood (especially in the corporate and political worlds), and it stays with us even until we compete with our colleagues to see who can achieve the earliest retirement.  I couldn’t tell you how many kids that I’ve seen burn themselves out chasing success in sports or academics. We are a “generation dedicated more than the last to the fear of poverty and the worship of success” (Yes that was an F. Scott Fitzgerald quote). Our culture is becoming intoxicated with individual recognition and glory (emphasis on the toxic).

Humility isn’t really an attribute that we embrace or even respect. According to the thesaurus, humility is the opposite of pride, arrogance, assertiveness, egoism, pretentiousness, and self-importance(and I know as you read that, the faces of people you know...maybe even yourself if you're honest...were popping through your mind).

But wait, how am I supposed to get on top if I’m unassertive? How do I impress college admissions unless I’m just a little bit pretentious on my application? How can I get this prestigious job if I don’t promote my self-importance?

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t promote yourself in a positive light and have a little gumption. Just stay truthful and don’t get carried away. Contrary to popular belief, humility isn’t weakness. It is meekness (says so in the first definition). It is patient and submissive. It doesn’t demand the raise or the spotlight.

This is the biblical, God glorifying way to pursue your life. Life needs to be more about contentment and less about constant striving for temporal things like money and social status.
Psalm 25:9- “He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble His way.”
Being humble isn’t just required on an individual level, it’s most necessary in our personal relationship with the people in our daily lives, the ones we’re closest to. It’s the general consensus that people tend to avoid the arrogant and egocentric when choosing their close friends. And those are definitely not helpful qualities in any reconciliation that will, without a doubt, eventually be required. People don’t like to be wrong, but it happens, we’re not going to be right all the time. And we have to have a level of humility to accept that and admit to it.
1 Peter 5:5- “for God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
So if we humble ourselves, whether it is in the midst of conflict or just in day to day life when we are more tempted to be proud and show off, God promises to give us grace. And who couldn’t use a little grace? Grace makes everyone’s lives run more smoothly.

Just look at God’s response humility in 2 Chronicles 7:14.

“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Being humble might not sound like a preferred pursuit in this dog-eat-dog, success driven, praise seeking, glory loving world. I’m not always a fan of it myself, but if we’re really living like what God says is true, then humility is a noble virtue, it’s God glorifying, and there are so many positives that come out of it(i.e. grace, forgiveness, healing, and the revelation of God’s will).

So pray to God that He would give you a humble spirit in every situation this week and then just see what happens. People will most likely take some notice and good fruit will come out of it.

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