I thought I was humble. I thought I was one of the most humble, selfless people in all of creation. Then I went through a testing period. Everything I usually depended on for comfort and self-worth was stripped away. I was rejected, ridiculed, ostracized, and accused. My life, as I knew it, was over. I hated my life and hated myself.
It was in this season that I had my biggest breakthrough; my brand of humility was false because it depended on the adulation and acceptance of others. My selflessness was false because it was motivated by the need to appear selfless to everyone else.
The reason I had to experience this painful struggle is simple: I had to “die” in order to live for Christ. Anything that I derived comfort and security from aside from Christ had to be removed. I realized that outside of a relationship with God there is no true security. There’s just the illusion of security. Before I was rejected by those around me, I took God for granted. As long as everyone loved me, I didn’t need him “that much”. But when people started to hate me, God was the only one who remained.
In my brokenness, I drew closer to my Saviour. As I drew closer to Jesus, I learned more about myself. I finally knew who God created me to be. He helped me to get rid of sinful habits, to recognize when my motives were impure, and seek His face in good and in bad times. I learned that I did not know everything, and I don’t have it all together, but it’s OK. I am being perfected.
I learned that true humility is found in the heart of a servant. Someone who lives, not to serve themselves, but to serve other people. I didn’t know true peace until I got to know Jesus for myself. I didn’t really know how to love until I learned how to love with the heart of Christ. I didn’t know how to be kind until I got to know the kindness of Jesus.
Not to say that I’m perfect. I still have moments where I “humble-brag” and get caught up in my own hype. Often, I’m too absorbed in my own life to notice the needs of other people. I also have a sarcastic sense of humour, and a curt, matter-of-fact way of speaking.
However, I am always reminded of the selflessness of Jesus, who was so humble that he washed the feet of his disciples (in John 13). If I am to call myself a follower of Christ, I have to live by his example.
It’s a project I will be working on until the day I die.