Humility - Thoughts and a Link

Humility - Thoughts and a Link

I recently came across an article by David Brooks, Op-Ed Columnist for the New York Times and Commentator on the "The Newshour with Jim Leher".  The article is entitled "IMHO" and appeared in the New York times on June 2, 2011.  (I have included the link at the bottom of this post)  The article is more of a reflection on what humility is, based on the conversations and presentations he encountered at the convention of the Association of Psychological Sciences. 

I am posting this here merely as food for thought.  What is interesting about the article, and the positions that Brooks describes, is that the psychologists recognize that humility is not a reflection of low self esteem or of necessarily thinking less of one's self.  As I read the article, they understand humility to be a state of the mind where the individual is fully aware and confident in their abilities, but they are 'other-focused'.  In short the world does not revolve around them, and they are okay with that.

I thought it a good discussion because, as Christians, we often hear our Lord's call to humility and consider it to be weakness.  That if we somehow put others before ourselves then we are shaming ourselves, and doing that which is beneath us.  We sinful humans simply don't want to humble ourselves because we think that we have to not only be but demonstrate and show our power.  Humility, we think, is the opposite of that.

But in Christ we see that the one who is truly powerful is able to humble, lower, and humiliate himself.  Jesus is the one who can lower himself and take on what the world thinks in shameful because he doesn't have anything to prove. Jesus knows that whether he is exalted or humbled that he is still God.  Therefore there is no fear or hesitance in his lowering himself.  (Maybe there is hesitation and some trepidation at having nails driven through his hands but not at humility)

 We are called to follow and humble ourselves to be people of humility, putting other first, putting Christ first.  You will remember the order that Jesus gave us when he told what was the greatest commandment.  We are to love God first, our neighbor as ourselves, and that would put us probably third or later.  We are called to love and give of ourselves, to have humility and know that we are not the center of the universe, Jesus Christ is the center of the Universe and all of Creation. 

We are also people who know that no matter what Jesus Christ is with us.  Whether we are exalted or humiliated Christ never lets us go. No matter what, we have Jesus.  Therefore we shouldn't have to worry about raising ourselves up and showing the world how good and great we are.  Because no matter what we do the Lord of Heaven and Earth is with us.  We are therefore free to love and serve and give, and humble ourselves for the sake of caring for reaching out to and loving others.

Just some thoughts for the day.  Take a look at the Brooks article I think it is pretty interesting.  

http://brooks.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/02/imho/ 

May God Bless you and Keep You

Pastor Mike

 

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