“…he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel…” (John 13:5)
The Wrong Perspective…
Many have a wrong idea of humility. Once after a preacher had given a talk on humility, a lady commented: ‘I did sooo enjoy your homily on humility. You see, it’s the quality I most admire in myself.’ Oh ooo… At that moment, the preacher didn’t have the heart to confront her over the issue. As you would know, what that dear lady thought was humility was really pride. In reality the humble do not realise they are humble or don’t blow their trumpets about saying they do; their actions and attitudes are as natural as breathing. It is like the saying goes with being a proper lady: once you say you are, you aint!
“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” (John 13:14 -15)
The thing with our world is that, people have the ideology that if one is humble, then he/she is weak, he/she will be ridden on. Not true. There is a difference between timidity, arrogance and humility.
Timidity is excess fear and absence of courage. The belief that you are no good and someone is greater or superior to you. It entails trying to do things to please people. Timid people are inside their own shell and are sad because they [think they] are lost.
Arrogance on the other hand is when you think too highly of yourself, no one can be like you and no one is up to your level. Your shoulders are so high; they can even touch the sky. Arrogance is when you feel you cannot do anything for anyone because you are not their servant. An arrogant person is considered a fool because he or she is too full of himself or herself and feels there is no God as he/she considers all achievements done by his/her own power and might. Arrogant people live sad lives unconsciously because their downfall is for sure.
Humility is the ability to bring yourself low to serve others and do something for them with or without their knowledge. Humility is not about looking untidy, scruffily dressed, hiding in one’s shell or being an introvert. It is about helping people do things rightly without being proud. In essence, it is the opposite of pride. It is the fear of God in you to think less of yourself and your seeming achievements. Let’s use Jesus as an example: though the Son of God, brought Himself low to human form in order to serve, redeem and even die for sins He didn’t commit- hmm, now that’s the greatest form of humility (Philippians 2:5-11). Jesus was able to take a towel and wash the disciples’ feet because He knew who He was, and that His security and dignity rested with His Father; He was free to turn His energies away from Himself and use them to serve others (John 13:1-17). Real humility isn’t rooted in a sense of humiliation but in a sense of being inwardly secure in Jesus. People who carry an air of superiority are often suffering from a sense of littleness because little people don’t dare to be humble; it would give away their littleness. They have to act a part, the part of being great to compensate for being small. However, people who understand they are in Christ don’t have to act a part because they know they are great in God. Humility is a virtue found only in the hearts of good people. Humble people are really happy people. They are selfless.
Humility does not mean weakness,
Humility is strength in harness,
An expression of my nothingness,
Being strong enough to be gentle in meekness.
What was your former definition of humility?
Do you possess the ‘humility’ of that young lady in the passage?
Presently, do you think God and people around you see you as a humble person?
Display an act of humility for someone, anyone at all today, help someone wash his/her clothes, help clean someone’s environment, just ‘wash the feet’ of anyone around you not minding your status.