Monday. 1-Feb-2015Today’s text focused on a specific quality which is vital to be found pleasing to God. That quality is humility. This is a quality that is found wanting in the world and not generally associated with men or being a man. The world paints this quality as weak and effeminate yet it is a quality that can cause a person to be approved for everlasting life. That in itself reveals the reason why Satan has deliberately cast this beautiful and endearing quality in a negative light.
Interestingly, the opposite of humility is pride, and while we all need a measure of self-respect it’s fascinating how Satan has twisted this to the point that while it’s considered undesirable to be a ‘proud’ person, it’s common to witness person behaving in an arrogant and haughty manner, speaking abusively of others, or at the least condescendingly, and giving the impression that they are owed respect. The very act of being humble is marked by a restraint of ones ego and a view that others are superior to you, while at the same time maintaining a balanced and realistic view of oneself. And this balance is where it can be tricky for some due to imperfection and various type of insecurities. The heartfelt desire to please Jehovah is good and is what we want as the primary motivator in our lives, directing us to work towards what is proper and good in the eyes of our God. However, our insecurities, which are in fact a part of our human imperfections, have a way of twisting and distorting what is real, creating fears and raises issues where there is nothing to be concerned about. To a large degree it’s ones insecurities that cause a person to take offence, hold a grudge and withhold forgiveness. While this person might think that they are viewing others as superior the reality is that they hold themselves as above others, even if others is a single individual.
The inability to forgive is key, for it is one of the single most telling symptoms of pride. Not being offended, as this will happen to each one of us multiple times each and every day, but the holding of a grudge, sulking in feelings of resentment, and the holding back of forgiveness. This, in part, is why Jehovah places such an important role on our being forgiving of others.
The fact that Jehovah forgives us should help us to understand that this quality isn’t a weakness, as the world would have us believe, but one of strength. Additionally humility reveals that we have adopted the same view as Christ. This quality makes us teachable and qualified to be used by Jehovah more than any amount of natural ability could ever hope. Had Moses, Noah, David or Jesus lack humility we would never have come to know them. And examples such as Saul, Korah and the Pharisees reveal the true danger in failing to be humble.
Humility isn’t a quality one will master over night, or perhaps at all, while living in this present system. But this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t make the effort to cultivate this beautiful quality. It is life preserving and identifies us as followers of Christ and approved by God.
While considering the quality of humility I asked myself why Jehovah cherishes this quality so much. I think much of the reason is because a person who humble thinks of others first and works to maintain a lowly view of himself. Can you imagine how the world would be a different place if people put the interest of others ahead of their own? It would be a completely different world.
Another possible reason is that a humble person acknowledges that he must rely on others, and ultimately in Jehovah, for help and support. It’s rare for someone to welcome help from others in this present system. It isn’t uncommon for a person to even refuse help and say that they don’t want pity when, in truth, this is exactly what they need. Why do they behave like this? Because they have been conditioned to believe that asking for help, accepting help even just needing help is a sign of weakness. Yet I ask: What is wrong with admitting that I am weak? Why should I feel shame asking for help and feel embarrassed for accepting assistance? This actually is so illogical since, being human, we weren’t created to go thru life complete in ourselves, without help. My thoughts go first to Adam who was created perfect and yet was given a helper, as a complement, in the form of woman. If our creator felt the need to provide the perfect man with a helper, who are we to think we don’t need help? How arrogant!
While the relationship between Adam and Eve was unique and resulted in the arrangement of marriage, there are other examples in the scriptures of ones who were provided help so that they could accomplish various tasks and goals, and even accomplish the divine purpose. Think of Noah and the help he received in his family. Then there is Moses who was assigned Aaron as a helper, as well as appointing qualified men to help later on. While the list could go on, it would be incomplete without mentioning the 12 who helped Jesus. He wouldn’t have been able to accomplish his assignment had he not had help in the form of others, yet he never ‘lorded it over them’ or demonstrated a superior attitude. He set the example in humility, even washing the feet of his apostles…and he was the perfect son of God.
So how can humility be viewed as a weak and undesirable quality when it is anything but? Standing back and examining this quality reveals the extent the thinking of the world has deviated from Jehovah’s thinking. The influence of the devil is powerful and one reason for this is the fact that it appeals to the imperfect flesh, so that we at times are unable to figure out if the problem is Satan, this system or our own imperfect weaknesses. It doesn’t really matter where it comes from, especially since it ultimately all comes from Satan who has designed this system to ensnare us.
What can help us to guard against this satanic thinking? Humility. While we work to maintain a balanced view of ourselves, we must remind ourselves, almost constantly at times, that we don’t know it all and that we can’t do everything on our own; that we need help and will make mistakes; that we are going to disappoint ourselves and others, but if we maintain a humble view of ourselves and get into the practice of trusting in Jehovah and really relying on him, we won’t have any worries.