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  • Writer's pictureSinclaire Sparkman

Hold Yourself Humble

Updated: Jan 31, 2020

We live in a culture where the individual is king. We don't trust in anything, so obviously the only person we can trust is our self. That seems safe until we fail to do what we set out to do. Our business profits don't meet our expectations; we miss that yoga class three weeks in a row; our theory about the next big political outcome is challenged by someone with really good points; et cetera. In a culture where the individual is king, we're pretty unqualified for the job.

Humility is a hard pill to swallow, and the overall concept is generally misunderstood. You see, it's less about seeing yourself as a lowly peasant and more about moving out of the way so good things can prosper through you.

Humility doesn't mean dressing in rags and flogging yourself. False humility is a beast as willy as a religious spirit. They go hand in hand. Don't get caught up in trying to be meager. It's okay to still own your self-confidence. The trick to humility is living in obscurity, stepping off the stage or just out of the spotlight long enough so people understand it's not about you.

A semi-famous musician led worship at my old church. He wasn't world reknown, but he would get invited to lead worship at other churches because he was known for creating an atmosphere where the Holy Spirit showed up. He once shared an act of humility that really stuck with me. He said if he felt the crowd was paying more attention to him than to their worship, he would play a few wrong notes. That way, those who were focusing too much on him would see him mess up and possibly refocus on God instead of him. Notice he didn't say, "they'd notice I wasn't all that great." Because he knows he's a great guitar player. He wouldn't have missed the notes unless he intended to, most likely. The act of humility is in stepping out of the way to magnify God, not saying negative things about yourself.

Self-deprecating crap helps no one. It makes people lose respect for you, and it probably makes you lose respect for yourself. Like anything, self-respect can go too far. If you let your self-respect go too far, it turns into pride. But there's a difference in knowing your strengths and puffing yourself up. Humility is a matter of accepting your own flaws and treating yourself with compassion.

It's okay for the worship leader to acknowledge he's good at playing guitar because it's true! But he also won't be a good guitar player if he stops practicing and spends all of his time on self-promotion.

So, if we move the individual from the throne of our heart, what should sit there instead? It might be easy to say, "Well, Jesus, of course!" And as great as that sounds, I think it misses the mark. Whatever sits on the throne of our heart is what drives us, and as a thinking and feeling entity himself, putting Jesus on the throne of your heart probably just doesn't work. What sits on the throne of Jesus' heart, then? We fix our eyes on Jesus, but on the throne of our heart, our driving ideal behind each and every action must be love.

When we put love on the throne of our hearts, we see through the eyes of Jesus. Remember, he was once human as well, and I bet he removed the individual from the throne of his heart and put love on it instead. Jesus himself told us, " the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’" and " your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30–31)

When we set love on the throne of our hearts and recognize the fullness of self, flaws and all, humility activates the best within us.

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