Monday, August 20, 2012

Going Deeper for the week of August 19, 2012

Are you humble?  If so, how humble?  If not, why not?

Humility is a strange thing.  As Christ followers we are called to be humble, but the moment we recognize our humility, we are in danger of becoming prideful about it.  Yet humility is our calling, and so we should concern ourselves with how humble we are.  So again are you humble?  If not, why?

(Read I Peter 5:1-11)

So what is the source of humility?  How can we actually be humble?

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time." (v. 6)

The true source of humility is recognizing God; His authority and His power, while also recognizing that our place is in submission to Him.

But how can we actually be humble?  How do we show that we are humble without becoming prideful about our humility?

I think the answer to that question is service.  If we choose to serve, rather than be served, we will show that we are humble.  And we can avoid pride in our humility by not expecting anything in return.  Service that is rooted in a sense of entitlement ("I will do this so that I will get that") is not really service.

Note how Peter commends the elders to serve and then assures them that they will be rewarded by God at the proper time.

"Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you but being examples to the flock."  

Elders are called to serve because service is the way of Jesus.  Jesus Himself came not to be served, but to serve and give His life as a ransom for many.  (see Matthew 20:28)  And the same is true for the "young men".

The "young men" serve by willingly submitting to the wisdom of those who are older.  Now this does not mean that older Christ followers are never wrong.  No mere human being is infallible.  However, even when young people disagree with "those who are older" there are ways to disagree without showing disrespect.  This is what it means to submit humbly.

In the end, true humility seeks to serve without counting the cost, or considering the benefits.  Willing service models the heart of God, and receives a reward that can never be taken away.  (v. 4, 11)

So what about you?  Are you humble?  If so, how are you showing it?  If not, why?

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