In our attempt to shine brighter and brighter, we must learn that dimming the light of arrogance is the only true way God can shine through us.
If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think, tell him the first step. The first step is to realize that one is proud. And a biggish step, too. At least, nothing whatever can be done before it. If you think you are not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed.
-C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
I couldn’t believe I went through carpool with streaks of mascara running down my face. Really, it didn’t matter as the sunglasses hid a majority of the mess. And boy, what a mess I was…
The previous night was an evening of silence and staring off. But, the morning brought words formed from hurt feelings and confusion. There was a heavy stream of tears.
It’s difficult to filter through inner dialogues and actual reality; piecing together instances to justify a feeling, and forsaking the whole picture. That’s just what I did. I made the pieces fit so my bitterness was not in vain.
The pieces did fit fairly easy, but it was vain. I was the embodiment of pride…
It’s ironic that out of pride came a massive mess. The opposite of what I was trying to achieve. Those black streaks of mascara truly made me take a step back. They forced me towards, dare I say, humility.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Philippians 2:3-4, NIV
We live in a world where meekness is rare, and the focus on ‘self’ is common. Self-esteem, self-help, self-affirmation, self-aware, self-care… there’s a LONG list of ‘self’ words. Seriously, Google it.
Listen, self-affirmation isn’t a new thing. But it seems to be more prevalent these days. Maybe my eyes are open now, but there just seems to be a heavy push to remember who we are. “Who I am.” And while I believe in affirmation (seriously I do), I can’t help but wonder if we are remembering that these truths are the same for our fellow humans too.
Most affirmations, especially if aligned with the truth of the Bible, are genuine and honest. But we can’t forget that we aren’t unique in that we are loved or chosen or beautiful or known. Guess what? If we are all created by God, we are ALL every single bit of those things. The Bible is for everyone who accepts its truth… We were created by God, in His image.
When I finally allowed my mouth to shut up, the streaks of mascara to serve their purpose, and the Holy Spirit to take over, I was urged to surrender. Surrender my vanity and think back. Further… further… further still. So far that I thought on the creation of the universe and Who molded each intricate particle…
Shine of Humility
Humility, but also shame washed over me. This other human was knit together in the same fashion, molded by the same hands, and loved to the same degree by our Beautiful Creator. And, in this moment I allowed my heart to love what the Lord loves, and hate what the Lord hates…
Here are six things God and one more that he loathes with a passion: eyes that are arrogant, a tongue that lies, hands that murder the innocent, a heart that hatches evil plots, feet that race down a wicked track, a mouth that lies under oath, a troublemaker in the family.
Proverbs 6:16-19, MSG
It’s no coincidence that arrogance is first on the list. Pride goes before all destruction (Proverbs 16:18). Arrogance is dark, dull and, above all, an absolute liar!
Pride says – I can shine like the stars…
Humility says – Jesus shine through me!
It’s not as though my intentions are ultimately selfish. In fact, they seem to be the opposite. Outwardly, I’m excited when others succeed, but inwardly I become jealous… Oooh, that’s ugly! Maybe I can apply the fake it ’till you make it rule??
Our motivation in the world should be driven from our love of God and our love for our neighbor. When we get caught up in our own selfish motives and ambitions, the body of Christ starts to deteriorate. If we consider each other above ourselves, then we create a beautiful community. A community where everyone is esteemed in high regard and no one is looked down on…
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Philippians 4:1-3, NIV
Our motivation should be driven from our love of God and our love for our neighbor. When we get caught up in our own selfish motives and ambitions, the body of Christ starts to deteriorate. Click To Tweet
When pride and selfishness rule, there’s no room for the Holy Spirit. When we bring ourselves to a place of surrender, there the Spirit of the Lord can dwell.
If we are living now by the Holy Spirit’s power, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Then we won’t need to look for honors and popularity, which lead to jealousy and hard feelings.
Galatians 5:25-26, TLB
Here’s the thing… to think I can achieve this level of humility on my own is prideful too. The only real way is to surrender myself to the Holy Spirit. When we allow the Holy Spirit room, He does miraculous things. He makes us so much better. He shines so we don’t have to (and thank goodness because I don’t want that pressure).
In our attempt to shine brighter and brighter, we must learn that dimming the light of arrogance is the only true way God can shine through us. We are His vessels on the Earth. We carry His light (Philippians 2:15), the only way to shine is allowing God’s light above all else.
Ultimately, you can’t just gain humility through practice to make it a character trait. Humility is a product of drawing near and spending time with Jesus. When we seek after Him, we inadvertently become more like Him.