Scott Jones – Gilbert Campus Pastor
There’s an old country song by Mac Davis with the tongue-in-cheek line, “Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble when you’re perfect in every way.” My Dad was a huge country fan so that song got lots of airplay in our home……….and car, where you could not escape. After a while it kind of rubbed off on me. And this may be the first time I’ve mentioned this publicly but it was actually a fun song to sing along to. The only thing that makes a song like that not so fun is if you actually believed the lyrics to be true about you. Kind of makes you ask the question, “How humble am I?”
I’ve been forced to ask myself that question numerous times throughout my journey as a Christ follower, pastor and leader. And the question has to be asked because humility is a key characteristic of Jesus himself and a quality that he calls for in every person who wants to follow in his footsteps. But how do you know how you are doing? Do you ask yourself?
Evaluating where you are on the humility scale is a precarious exercise. The moment you think you are doing well is probably an indicator that you might be deceived.
Wait a minute. What if you asked someone else? I did. During one season of a Life Group I was a part of we were doing a spiritual assessment called the Christian Life Profile. Part of the assessment evaluated the fruit of the Spirit in your life. The unique part of it was that you handed out a “One Another Assessment” to three people who knew you well to give you honest feedback on where the fruit of the Spirit was or wasn’t showing up in your life.
I gave one of the assessments to my wife, Donita, one to my Daughter, Morgan and one to my friend, Alan. One of the assessment statements revolved around the character of humility. The statement actually read “He or she is willing to do menial tasks.” My friend Alan ranked me lowest in this category. When I asked him about it and offered, “I do menial tasks.” He said, “Yeah, but you act like you’re above it.” Ouch! Talk about challenging your spiritual complacency. That was a wake up call to invite the Spirit of God to do a deeper work of breaking me and humbling me so I would reflect the character of Christ.
There’s something about humility that is, well, humbling. It’s certainly not intuitive. Jesus called this out among his own disciples who’s natural instinct was to seize positions of authority for personal gain. He said, “That’s the way of the world; not mine.” And the writer, Paul echoed Jesus’ words and calls upon us to demonstrate humility in our relationships with others.
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.
This is a lifelong pursuit for anyone who desires to take on the character of Christ. No one arrives. And perfection, despite the Mac Davis song, is unattainable.
So I don’t sing the Mac Davis song much anymore. Well, never. But I do ask God and others if humility is showing up in my life. God is at work. That’s his promise for you and me. Philippians 1:6 reminds us, “God who began a good work in you will be faithful to continue it until the day we meet him face to face.” He’s not done and I certainly haven’t arrived but I’m grateful to see the work that God has been doing. How about you? How humble are you? Might want to ask someone who knows you. I pray you will have the courage to ask.