"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves." Philippians 2:3
I have been dealing with the issue of attitudes during this month. Today I touched on the attitude of humility. Here are a few of the thoughts I shared:
WHAT IS HUMILITY?
During the days when Mohammed Ali was a great boxer, he would go around in his arrogance and say that, "He was the greatest." Humility was never his strong suit. One day, back in his prime, he was on an airplane and the plane was ready to take off and the flight attendant had repeatedly told him to put on his seat belt. He finally told her, "I'm superman and superman don't need no seatbelt." The flight attendant didn't hesitate a minute but shot back with, "Superman don't need no airplane either, now buckle up."
He buckled up!
That’s not humility – that’s pride. "Pride, the idolatrous worship of self, is the national religion of hell."
Here's the deal with humility, either you humble yourself or you will be humbled. Neither is particularly easy, but humbling yourself is preferable and more honorable.
Humility, Rick Warren reminds us, is “not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.”
“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is not thinking of yourself at all.” – J. Elton Trueblood
The story is told of two goats that met each other on a narrow ledge just wide enough for one goat to pass. The two goats faced each other and wondered, What shall we do? They could not back up that would be too dangerous. They could not go around because the ledge was too narrow. Now, if the goats had no more sense than humans they would have began butting each other until one fell over the ledge. However, goats have a lot of sense, more than some people. What they did: one goat laid down and let the other walk over him.
That is an example of humility – NOT THAT YOU LET PEOPLE WALK ALL OVER YOU - BUT THAT YOU ARE WILLING TO LAY DOWN WHEN NECESSARY TO SERVE OTHERS.
Shane Claiborne, who spent a summer in the slums of Calcutta with Mother Teresa, wrote about her experience there. She said, “People often ask me what Mother Teresa was like. Sometimes it’s like they wonder if she glowed in the dark or had a halo. She was short, wrinkled, and precious, maybe even a little ornery — like a beautiful, wise old granny. But there is one thing I will never forget — her feet. Her feet were deformed. Each morning in Mass, I would stare at them. I wondered if she had contracted leprosy. But I wasn’t going to ask, of course. ‘Hey Mother, what’s wrong with your feet?’ One day a sister said to us, ‘Have you noticed her feet?’ We nodded, curious. She said: ‘Her feet are deformed because we get just enough donated shoes for everyone, and Mother does not want anyone to get stuck with the worst pair, so she digs through and finds them. And years of doing that have deformed her feet.’ Years of loving her neighbor as herself deformed her feet.” Humility means that our focus is away from ourselves and not on ourselves.
Humility is taking the focus of life away from ourselves and onto God and others.
A FORMULA FOR HUMILITY - H2 O - Think twice about Him – Think once about others – Then think about you! - THAT’S humility!
Don't wait to be humbled - or humiliated, humble yourself before God and honor your brothers and sisters. Start today!