Had any humbling moments lately? You know the ones I’m talking about…
Like when you trip and your arms go flailing to avoid a face-plant in public. Or when you fumble over your words while all eyes in the room are on you…or when you realize your zipper is down and you’re not sure how long it’s been that way…or when someone speaks down to you as if you were a child…or when you mess something up royally and there’s simply no hiding it.
Jan can relate. She recently took on a project that seriously humbled her. In that moment, she felt like the person who cleans public toilets, or picks up cigarette butts in the parking lot. Very humbled.
She never wanted to do the deed in the first place but she did want to be helpful to the group she was part of, so she volunteered.
After putting it off as long as she could, there it was, still on her to-do list…staring at her.
When it was finally done, Jan was so relieved. Yet, the side-effect was that it left her feeling small and worthless as a person. Like a total loser.
In hindsight, Jan realizes that underneath it all, she was way too concerned about how she came off to others and what they thought of her. The reason it was such an uncomfortable experience is that is exploded her illusion of self-importance.
Not a bad thing.
In those humbling moments, the Lord reminded Jan of something she had forgotten. To be humbled is certainly hard, but there is an upside, if you embrace it.
- Humbling moments present a unique opportunity to identify more authentically with Jesus, because of all the adjectives that describe Him, “humble” has to be near the top of the list. In fact, we are probably never closer to Jesus than when we’ve been humbled. From cradle to cross, Jesus humbled Himself and calls us to do the same.
He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. -Philippians 2:8
2. God gives grace to the humble. Quoting an ancient Proverb, James says, “God resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6). Think of it like this…we each have a grace bucket and humility is what takes the lid off the bucket. Life empties the bucket, but God generously re-fills it, as long as we keep the lid off.
3. A humbling moment is an opportunity to reflect on who really loves and accepts you. Starting with God, you’re most faithful supporters will still love you, even when you’ve been humiliated. Think about this statement:
“There is absolutely nothing you can do to make God love you more and nothing you can do to make God love you less.” Daniel Wallace
So when someone or something humbles you and you feel lower than dirt, remember, there is an upside.
It’s a new day with God. Run with it.
“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” -Jesus, Luke 14:11