By Krystal Mattox | May 30, 2017
by Krystal Donaldson
Humility is one of the characteristics of Christ that I sometimes find perplexing. I think many of us walk in a false sense of humility, thinking the more we belittle ourselves or make sure no one recognizes our talents/gifts by always saying Christian-ese phrases like “Lord willing,” “by God’s grace” and “only through Jesus,” the more humble we are. While I am not making an argument against giving glory to God, I think humility is much deeper than mere phrases. Since it is graduation season, my Facebook news feed is flooded with pictures of friends and acquaintances achieving high accomplishments such as serving in the military or graduating from undergrad, grad school, and many from doctoral programs (doesn’t help that almost half of my Facebook friends are from dental school!). Being amongst such highly educated and motivated people inspires me to continue striving for excellence.
It’s baffling to me when I consider the fact that by 26, I will be a doctor. Yet, I have friends from high school and family members my age and younger who’ve made choices that have boxed them into what our society would call a low socioeconomic status. They’ve either dropped out of high school or college or have become addicted to drugs. They may eventually find their footing and get back on track, but it will probably be more challenging. It’s very easy to pat myself on the back and say, “Well, Krystal, you’ve just made all the right choices and are making your family proud,” therefore opening the door for pride to creep in and for me to think too highly of myself.
Rick Warren once said, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.” It’s okay to feel good about your accomplishments, but not to the degree that life is all about you. Jesus Christ came on this earth being fully God and fully human. “Who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:6-8, NKJV). Jesus wasn’t concerned about making everyone know He is a part of the Godhead, rather He thought of Himself less and pointed everyone to the Father.
Imagine what would happen if we all emulated Christ in this manner. Like Job, I take the position of “...Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21, NKJV). The reality is that anything can happen at any time, so just because we may have made great choices regarding education, opening a practice, having a biblical family dynamic, etc. does not give us the right to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to (Romans 12:3). No matter what opportunities I have in life, I pray I will always remember the fact that the Lord gives everything! I have achieved nothing on my own accord! With this recognition, I have to govern my life as such, by being grateful, non-judgmental, offering advice where warranted and loving those who’ve found themselves in challenging positions. By no means am I saying this will be easy to do, so to live in Christ-like humility and obedience is something we will have to continually pray for the Lord to help us with.
“He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?”
(Micah 6:8, NKJV)
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