Pt 3: How Humility Leads to Understanding
Almost daily there’s a new headline highlighting the woes of our country. News of terrorist attacks, police brutality, racial tensions, and hatred overwhelm us and often as I watch with tears filling my eyes I feel almost paralyzed by the sheer amount of pain being experienced by the masses. However, in my grief my heart is crying out in prayer for the body of Christ to shine in the midst of this darkness. This last year has been brutal for America in regards to having to face the racial divide that continues to haunt us as a nation. With the state of our country in mind I can’t think of a much more relevant topic than the “one anothers”. What if the church unlike the world decided to genuinely love across the racial, political, and socioeconomic lines that have been drawn? What if the church decided to truly be a reflection of the true kingdom of God?
“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” Revelation 7:9-10
This is the kingdom of God! In loving Christ and living out the “one anothers” the church can truly be a reflection of His soon coming kingdom.
Looking back at Romans 12, after exhorting the believers to first commit their lives to the Lord and His glory (Rom. 12:1-2) Paul further exhorts them not to think more highly of themselves than they ought but with sober judgment (Rom. 12:3) which leads to our first “one another”. Humility….
“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” Philippians 2:3
“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5
In all three of these passages believers are encouraged to walk in humility toward one another and look to esteem others above themselves. Both the word humility in Peter and “lowliness of mind” in Philippians come from the same Greek word which means having a humble opinion of one’s self; a deep sense of one’s moral littleness. The opposite of this is of course a constant awareness of self which will only lead to us bowing at the altar of our own egos, agendas, and desires. This lack of humility is a part of the reason we are in the position we’re in as Americans; it’s apart of the reason why even within the Christian faith we are witnessing the same racial divide seen in the culture. How will we ever be in a position to share our hearts with one another, hear one another, repent to and/or forgive one another if we never in humility think of others above ourselves? The obvious answer is that we will be circling the same mountain if humility never floods our hearts. How do we walk in this humility? We need to always see ourselves in light of Christ’s righteousness; it is a constant reminder of our “moral littleness” and His greatness. When our hearts are captivated by Him we realize that we’re not so flawless after all. We recognize that maybe we don’t have all the answers; that maybe we’re not always right; or that maybe the way we’ve viewed certain issues has not always been right. This humility is what leads to that ability spoken of in James to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. In this space is where we are able to genuinely hear one another’s hearts. It also leads to us esteeming/considering one another. It is our natural bent to seek to advance our own agenda instead of esteeming others and oh my, what damage it does! Just think of what beauty could be seen in us considering one another as we live life together. If you can think of someone you highly esteem I’m quite sure it would be someone that has significant influence in your life. When that person is speaking, you intently listen and consider their words. That same esteeming is that which we should have for one another. We should be ready to engage in meaningful conversation, hear, and consider. Let’s regard the body of Christ especially those we have been joined to within the local fellowship just as valuable and worthy of our consideration!
I can remember having a conversation with a sister (of a different ethnicity) not long after the murder of Mike Brown and with a grieved heart asking, what do we do; how do we help our children avoid repeating this vicious cycle? The only answer I could muster was that it starts right at the dinner table where we were seated. Our small but impactful steps toward racial reconciliation started that night with us building together. I believe those words just as much today as I did over a year ago. Brothers and sisters, the church should be at the forefront of racial reconciliation! We have an unbelievable advantage in this fight that the world doesn’t have; we serve the Lord Jesus Christ! He is our banner and his Spirit unifies. This fight seems insurmountable most days but God is greater. We, by the power of his Spirit have been made able to say yes to his will and to walk out his word. With that in mind it’s important to point out that in this fight for racial reconciliation humility begins the work; esteeming one another above ourselves begins the work. I pray that our hearts will be stirred to not ignore what’s going on but in the spirit of humility have those intentional conversations, seek to understand one another, pursue genuine relationships, and to hear and pray for one another. Though the Lord may call us to protest or become more involved with our communities, the real change starts in our hearts and who but Him can change a heart. May His love been seen in us walking humbly, arm in arm in the forwarding of His kingdom.echo do_shortcode('[social_share]'); ?>