Humble Yourself Before Others

Zach Farrar (Community Groups Coordinator)

Have you ever been on a team where the players refused to follow the coach? It was probably a mess right? In the professional sports world we’ve seen time and again how crazy things can get when players mutiny. Anyone watching the Cavaliers last season knew instinctively that while David Blatt may hold the title of head coach, LeBron James was really the one in charge.

This is a recipe for disaster. In life though, there really is only One King. We may like to pretend we’re in charge, but in reality, Jesus alone has created, upheld, and sustained us our whole lives. He alone has provided us with a way back to God (read more about how Jesus is King here).

What does Jesus’ role as King mean for us? It means we should humble ourselves before others. After all, that’s the example He provided for us. Rather than stay safely in the comfort, splendor, and glory of heaven, He humbly came to earth, to our mess, to serve and save us (Philippians 2). And He expects the same from those of us who follow Him:

“After washing the disciples feet, he put on his robe again and asked, ‘Do you understand what I was doing? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord’ and you are right for that is what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.’”  (John 13:12-17)

Jesus took the lowest spot at the table in coming to save and serve us. There was no dignity or honor at the cross. No applause or pat on the back. Just simple, humble service. And He expects us to do the same; Jesus expects us to consider our wants, our desires, our pleasure and comfort as less important than the good of those around us. Jesus, our Humble-Servant King, expects us to imitate and follow Him specifically by taking the low road to help others.

What does that look like for you and I today? Each of us have different ways this plays out, but here are a few suggestions we think honor God as King by humbling ourselves before others:

Be Embarrassingly Humble:

Humility before others often begins when we bare our deepest sins, hurts, and brokenness to one or two trusted people. When we open up about that secret online addiction or how greed has paralyzed our wallets or how we lash out at our kids when tired and worried, all pretense melts away. Having one or two trusted friends to confess your sin to, to repent alongside, and to encourage you is a phenomenal and essential part of humility before others. It destroys the myth that you have it all together. It allows another believer to minister to you by reminding you of the grace of God. This week, today even, consider asking another believer who is a little further along in their spiritual journey, to be your confidant and trusted friend who you can be deeply humble before.

Serve Your Family:

A lot of times our families get the short end of the stick. We come home from a long day at work or projects for the family, and are exhausted. The last thing we want to do is wash the dishes or take the garbage to the dump or help our kids with their algebra homework. But since our King humbly served us, we should serve others, especially when it’s uncomfortable and inconvenient. Moreover, when we don’t want to, we should pray that the humble Spirit of Christ would penetrate our hearts and make our acts of service genuine. So whether it’s taking the late shift with your crying newborn tonight or cooking dinner so your exhausted spouse can take a much-needed nap, honor Christ as King today by serving your family.

Serve Your Neighbors:

We’ve spent a lot of time this Fall talking about living a sent life – a life characterized by knowing that we are God’s priests (representatives) in this world. Christmas is a great time to capitalize on a bunch of opportunities to be sent. From helping a neighbor put up their Christmas lights on the weekend to attending a neighborhood gift exchange to inviting neighbors to go look at lights or to a Christmas Eve service, look for ways to humble yourself by serving your neighbors. Maybe you’ll need to join in something or maybe you’ll need to start something from scratch, either way, honor Christ as King by serving your neighbors.

Give Generously:

It’s that time of year again – the perfect storm of Christmas bonuses and holiday sales. We tend to not think of money as a spiritual thing. It’s physical, material, that’s all right? We forget that Jesus said a great deal about money and how His followers should spend it. Perhaps most tellingly, He taught us, “don’t store up treasure here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store up treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be,” (Matt. 6:19-21). If we wonder where our hearts are focused (on earthly or heavenly things) we just need to follow the money. Wherever the money flows, we see what rules our hearts. This season, take look at how you spend money – is it solely on earthly things that will ultimately decay and falter? What does this say about where your heart is set? Is there something eternal that you can invest your money in? Could your family support a child through Compassion International? Or help drill a well in a village with no access to clean water by supporting Hydromissions? What about helping needy kids in Lexington through giving to Give Hope? This Christmas season, honor Christ as King by humbling yourself and using your money to help others in ways that are eternally significant.

Post Series: Advent 2015

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