Recently, I’ve come across two excellent blog posts that demonstrate humility in action. If we consider others as more important than ourselves, then that attitude will demonstrate itself in our actions toward others.
Jonathan, at “Missio Dei“, wrote a very good post called “We Are First Human“. When Jonathan came across a new blog, we started to form preconceived ideas about the person based on the links on their blog. He says:
And then I had this surreal experience of realizing that I was judging the guy, who I donâ€™t really know and before I ever even read much of his blog. It was a sad commentary on the brokenness of my own soul.
The moment revealed this bent in my soul to protect and control. The enemy had fed me lies that seemed so comforting and protective. “Heâ€™s not like you, so why waste time,” it said. And in some ways it is just easier to buy the lie. It’s easier to just stay out of relationship, to stay divided.
And then I had this really interesting conversation with myself about those things that divide us. Itâ€™s like this instinct to determine our differences, to find what separates us rather than what brings us together. It’s this bent of self-determination that produces conflict and argument. I found myself pulling away from commenting on his blog because of my own pre-conceived notions. And when I really looked at these judgments, they were stupid. If I was being honest, they were full of fear.
Here was a brother (We share the same Heavenly Father) and I was getting lost in the stupid stuff. I thought, “this guy probably doesn’t think like me.” What garbage.
After putting aside his preconceptions and reading what the blogger had written, this is what Jonathan found:
I ended up discovering he was a really cool guy, with great things to offer in his blog. I found he had written a paper that was very similar to the work that I do. It was cool. And this experience made me wonder how often I miss the moments that come only after I step into love and trust, into His kingdom.
Similarly, my friend Matthew, who has recently started a blog called “The Journey“, describes finding himself in a similar real-life situation in a post called “Saved by Doctrine?” In Matthew’s case, he was asked to help disciple some young men who were part of a “different” church. He admits that he was secretly dreading taking part:
When my friend from Gardner-Webb called and asked if I could help her out, I accepted immediately, but with quiet reservations. Even as I walked over from my dorm to the church (which is right on campus by the way) I was silently praying and fearing that they would shun me when they found out I was from the seminary. I was scared. And it was completely ridiculous.
What did Matthew discover when he decided to help out?
Not only did I meet some of the sweetest, nicest people I have ever met there, I was accepted immediately and treated like one of their own. The guys I taught were great, and while we didn’t agree on everything, we had a great time and I hope I get to know them better. I gave my contact info to the youth minister there, and he invited me to come and help anytime with anything, and even invited me to have lunch with him anytime.
Matthew learned that God’s family is bigger than he thought. He remembered that we are brought into God’s family by grace, not by doctrine.
How many times do we refuse to listen to someone or refuse to take part in something because someone believes something a little differently than we do? Could it be that God wants to use that other brother or sister to draw us closer to himself, to teach us something about him, or to give us an opportunity to serve him? But, we refuse to listen or take part because of pride. Yes, it is pride.
It take humility to admit that even though our doctrines differ, we remain brothers and sister in Christ – children of God. And, the injunction to consider others as more important than ourselves includes “them” too.