A Powerful Humility
New class, new year oh the possibilities! I recently attended the first day of the second half of a brilliant marriage class my husband and I have been taking. With my small group gathered around us at the table I couldn’t help but think back to when we started. Being someone who absolutely loved structure and ten step programs I was radically redefined by this class from nearly the first day.
That was when we met our small group which seemed just fine (nice people, big smiles so happy to be learning together). The thing they don’t tell you is these are the people they will be requiring you to bare your entire soul, and your deepest darkest secrets to in the name of..well…healing!
I quickly figured out this was not going to be a step program of any kind! This was going to be open heart surgery performed by the best surgeon ever – Holy Spirit.
Despite my reluctance and utter shock at first, it’s amazing how far we’ve come. Sitting down again today with those same people I actually feel like I know and am safe with (a rarity in today’s superficial society - yes even “church” society) something beautiful happened. During our class we were given a time to re-connect and share how we were all doing. The leaders of my group began to share about some struggles they had been having recently and the most unexpected feelings rose up within me. After experiencing some struggles of our own previous to this class listening to them share what they were going through actually made me feel encouraged. I felt hopeful and like I wasn’t alone.
I would venture to say we as people do not bond nearly as much over our strengths as we do our weaknesses.
Why might that be? I believe it’s to do with one powerful community building quality, which being able to reveal our weaknesses and failures, magnifies. This quality is humility.
Jesus showed just how powerful humility is when He walked the earth confined to a human body in order to live among us (Phil.2:6-8). He would, in that humble state, destroy the works of darkness by healing the sick, loving the unlovable and spreading the kingdom of heaven on earth. His existence split time, confounded the wise and would make it possible for millions to be restored to Father God through salvation. His death put a final stamp upon the destruction of evil, the absolute victory over sin and the enabling of powerful children of God (later known as Christians) to continue overthrowing the darkness in His name to this day! And this was all made possible by His possession of the quality Humility.
God sees humility as a key to unlocking all victory.
So why are we talking about humility? Well when we choose humility, like Jesus did, we choose various other life giving options as well.
We choose to listen,
to learn, to yield,
to grow, to reconcile, to lean on someone else and
to partner with something more than what we have on our own.
Humility in all contexts produces good things. Jesus made it a foundation of all He did.
Perhaps the greatest thing humility affords for us, though, is the ability to be honest about ourselves and let our weaknesses and failures come to the surface so they can be healed. It gives us the ability to look imperfect (and that we are) in front of others. It is the means through which we let God make all things new in our lives instead of us trying to do our best repair job on our own. And God is so committed to this process! He is not looking to clean us up, He’s looking to free us up so we can experience life at its best!
Being in the atmosphere of grace set up at my class, demands intimacy which has, in turn, taught me more than I’ve ever known about God and His family. When we are brave enough to expose what’s really going on with a group of people who are committed to the process we get to see what God sees. He’s always looking at our hearts. And when we can come together on the basis of our struggles with the purpose of helping each other overcome them, we get a taste of what God delights in.
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity” Ps.133:1 (NIV). It is a choice to be brave which may not always be well received. However,
“Our greatest fear should not be the day our failures or weaknesses come to light. We ought to fear the day in which we had managed to convince the world we had none.”
If we have convinced others we are “perfect” we have no one looking in to our lives and running beside us to help us be all we are designed to be. Scripture says it this way, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” Ecc.4:9-10 (NIV).
I pray that you all have people around you who you can share your struggles with. It is God’s heart for you to be connected to others who can help strengthen you. Together, we can learn the power of humility to bring light and freedom to every dark area in our lives.