Updated: Jun 15
Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life. (Proverbs 22:4 NIV)
I tried writing about many-a-topic for this week’s FYI. I started something about lonely moms, tried the importance of intergenerational church living, and even considered something starting off talking about the crazy high grass pollen levels that make me feel like I’m perpetually floating.
But alas, the one thing that keeps coming to my mind is the super popular concept of humility. I just have to write about it. Maybe this will end up being what gets posted or maybe what I actually send in will be about the constant fluid in my ears during allergy season, I’ll just have to type and see.
There have been several occasions in the past year—no, more like innumerable occasions—when I wished I had shown greater humility. I am often able to process my thoughts and articulate into words quickly, which at times can be a blessing (like when my kids ask why God wants to be called “I AM”), and at other times a curse (like when my kids ask why they need to clean up their toys and I come up with a concise though flippant response).
I have sent off emails, then feared I sounded conceited, or discussed complex students with co-workers, then upon reflection realized I likely sounded very arrogant. I have been angry with people for outcomes they could not control. I have misjudged people as lazy who are actually quite ill, and thought people aloof who were actually grieving. All in all, though I can say I’ve nailed some things in adulthood (blueberry scones and the Marie Kondo tri-fold), my need for humility and to suspend judgement continues to run deep.
This month, many of us Creeksiders were sincerely and truly blessed to be able to celebrate the life of Norman Morris with Lynn and their sweet family and friends. Of the many articulate and wonderful ways Norm was described, one comment on his character really stood out to me. It was from a gentleman who stated that Norm was “powerfully gentle.”
I have been pondering that concept for the past week and a half. It is a perfect depiction of who Norm was (and still is, through his testimony). It is also completely countercultural to our society, where the loudest voice is often seen as the most powerful and thus the victor. Simply put, Norm was humble.
In order to be humble, you need to be confident in who you are. Norm was confident of who he was because he was sure of who he belonged to. This quiet gentleness he had was so powerful, that it drew others to him and then frequently to Christ.
This concept of humility has come up again and again and again for me recently, particularly when reading through Ephesians 4:
As a prisoner for the Lord, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
I could continue with the passage, but I want to stop here, because I think we often skip over that very first piece and move on to the fun unity through peace bit that comes next.
The very first line, “as a prisoner for the Lord,” screams humility, my friends. It does not say, “As a helper for the Lord” or even “As a server for the Lord.” We are first and foremost called to be prisoners.
We are daily imprisoned by so many things (money, how people perceive us, fitness, coffee, our phones, etc.). Why not willingly be imprisoned for Christ? He not only knows what we need, He knows who we are. And when we hold on to that, we can choose to act with true humility toward others.