In preparation for Easter Sunday, our pastor presented a series of messages on Jesus’ life prior to His greatest act of love. All of Jesus’ achievements remained only those of great humility. Perhaps one of the greatest was when He washed the feet of His disciples following the last supper. Imagine how dirty, calloused and perhaps blistered, feet would be that had walked for hours in sandals. I think of my own feet after gardening. Even with shoes and socks, they become dirty. As I come in the house to shower, my feet are unsightly to behold and would not desire for anyone to see them; certainly not to wash them. Yet Jesus washed the feet of those He loved; those He had spent His adult life with. What humility!
If I could be granted one trait in life, I believe I would choose humility. People might be humble occasionally, but it is impossible to be humble and prideful at the same time. Mick Ukleja speaks of the six attributes of healthy humility: 1) They acknowledge they don’t have it all together. 2) They know the difference between self-confidence and pride 3). They seek to add value to others 4). They take responsibility for their actions 5). They understand the shadow side of success 6). They are filled with gratitude for what they have.
Perhaps each of us possess some of these traits sometimes, but never do we possess all of these traits all of the time. There are still others that never possess any of the traits of humility for their pride overpowers all areas of their lives. Mick continues his commentary, “pride is an exaggerated sense of self-importance. And typically accompanied by placing ourselves above others.”
As I thought of Jesus’ humility and devotion to his disciples, I reflected on Mick’s words of “we-ness.” He stated, “humility becomes the social oil that prevents wear-and-tear in the engine of our relationships. The closer the relationship the greater the potential for overheating and abrasion.”
When my children lived at home, I reminded them often of steps five and six, but from the godly perspective. For I knew, all of my life was a direct result of God allowing me to have- to be and to do. On those days, I become discouraged and downtrodden with the path of my life, I have to remind myself, “But God.” All that happens passes through His hands.
When our lives are fraught with challenges of life, do we thank God for these times? I have to believe most often we don’t. Instead, we are saying, but God, why? Shouldn’t the answer be, why not? That is when importance of ourselves is greater than our humility.
Recently I watched a movie based on the difficulties of Job. Although the screenwriter’s parallel to Job was superficial, the motive was to cause the viewer to be humble; to be always grateful. God may never bless us more abundantly following a loss as He did with Job. Nonetheless, God will allow us to overcome these dilemmas when we are humble before Him. James 4:10 NIV, “humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.”