The Family Feud Game Show was a fun show to watch in the 80’s and 90’s when Richard Dawson and Ray Combs were the hosts. I tried to see if I could “hit” the button first before the contestants and come up with the number one answer. Or get a good laugh out of some of the answers the family members came up with. Some of the top ten answers to the questions were spot on, some I wondered who in the world did they ask?? I also like to “tell” (maybe speak loudly at the TV!) what answers they should give for the final round to win the big money! I’m easily entertained!!
Could you imagine the answers we would get if we asked what living a humble life looks like? I asked my kids at the dinner table and they came up with; not being boastful, do things low key and not wanting recognition, being kind to others, putting others’ needs before my own. I thought that was a good start.
My personal definition of humility has evolved over the years. In the beginning I thought of someone who was quiet, calm, not boastful and put other people’s needs before their own. Over time, I have realized there is so much more to being humble.
Being humble is NOT allowing people to take advantage of you and treat you like a doormat. Being humble does not mean that everyone else’s needs come before the well being of your own. Being humble is not a right of way for others to put you down, demean you or to dominate over you. None of those are the definitions of Christ’s example of a humble person.
There was a group of 8 of us that flew to Los Angeles to work with inner city mission groups. On our flight out, we were seated relatively close to one another. I had an aisle seat and a couple of my friends were across the aisle. I had a young man ask if I would be willing to switch seats with him so he could sit with his girlfriend. I agreed, moved further back into the plane and was separated from my group of people. To me it was no big deal. I had plenty of reading material to keep me occupied during the flight and the couple was able to stay together. When we landed, my friends asked what happened and how I ended up at the back of the plane. I explained the situation. A couple of them thought I was crazy! I willingly, without hesitation, put someone else’s desires ahead of mine. For me, it was an act of service and not putting me out and being taken advantage of.
During the same trip, we happened to be in an area where they were filming one of the actor/actress award shows. As we were walking by, we got a glimpse of Tom Hanks. Excitement rolled through our group. Next thing I knew we were crossing the street to get a better view and take some pictures. We were all a bit awe struck and humbled by the chance to see a very well known and talented actor standing just a few feet away.
How many of you, as you approach the check out lines, survey to see which line is the shortest and hopefully the fastest? We all do! I’m also one that once I commit to a line, I’m not moving again! It drives me crazy when my kids or anyone else with me wants to start line hopping! Every now and then a person will come up behind me and only have a handful of items. I glance at my overflowing cart, turn back and offer them to go ahead of me! I’m willing to put my need to get through the checkout line as quick as possible aside. I want to give the person behind me an option to go before me and not have to wait on my cart load of groceries. Again, I see it as an act of service and openness to put someone else’s needs or desires before mine
Matthew 5:5 states, “ Blessed are those who are humble for they will inherit the whole earth.” (NLT) The Passion version states the same verse as, “What blessings come to you when gentleness lives in you! For you will inherit the earth.” Another version states, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” (NIV).
Humble, gentleness, and meekness are just the beginning explanation of living a humble life. It’s a matter of the heart. If you think too highly of yourself, pride gets in the way and hardens your heart. You think too lowly of yourself, you risk self-destruction.
So where is the happy place of living a humble life? It’s in your heart. To walk a godly, humble life, we need to have an open line of communication with God. How do you communicate with God? How does He communicate with you? At times, we don’t think we are worthy to have a conversation with God or we ask ourselves if it’s really God that we’re hearing. We have a tendency to over complicate something that was meant to be simple and open. Our relationship and communication is meant to be a conversational walk with God. A conversation with God is more than our head bowed and eyes closed! I can’t walk straight with my eyes open, let alone closed! It’s a much better idea to drive with your eyes open than closed, too! Walking, driving, sitting, kayaking, fishing, whatever or wherever you are, you have an open line to Christ at all times. He wants to have a conversation with you. While an observer may think I’m talking to myself, I’m talking and spending time with my Jesus! To get to know someone, you need to spend time with them, ask them questions, observe their habits and behaviors. You can do the same thing with God. I see and hear things all around me that are from Him. Observe the world around you and see the world through His heart and eyes.
“Hearing God Through the Year” devotional, Dallas Willard states, “…His speaking to us gives us greater opportunity to do good and a greater responsibility for the care of others. He speaks to us because he wants us to join him in some purpose of advancing the Kingdom of God here on earth.” (emphasis mine) In accepting the greater responsibility to fulfill the greater opportunities we are becoming more and more open to the heart of God. A glimpse of living a humble life is to do good and care for others. If you don’t know where to start, start with doing something good by caring for others and see where it takes you.
Take a personal survey of what you think and believe it looks like to live a humble life. What are your top 10 answers? Do they match up with God’s heart? He created us to have a relationship with us. Strike up a conversation and ask Him to show you how you can live a humble life that reflects His heart.
Thanks for sharing a moment with me. We are in this, humbly together, in Him.