There's a chorus to an old country song that goes like this:
Oh Lord it's hard to be humble,When you're perfect in every way.I can't wait to look in the mirror,Cause I get better looking each day.
Humility is one virtue that cannot be outwardly acknowledged. The minute a person says, "I'm humble," they probably aren't. Humility is a virtue others must assign to us.
The church can use a whole lot of humility in these politically charged and polarizing times. We like to think we are open and welcoming, and in fact we say we are. We advertise it on church marquees, signs, in newspaper announcements, and on our websites. Yet, we often send the opposite signals in a whole host of ways.
Dennis R. Edwards writes,
While church slogans on signs and websites express openness to newcomers, many of us are wary. We’re skeptical about connecting to new communities because experience has conditioned us. We have learned that not every organization with a virtue in its name seems ready to practice it. We’ve witnessed too many churches called “Grace” that aren’t gracious and some with “Faith” as a moniker that were instead fearful of guests who did not fit a particular image of the dominant group.
Edwards see humility as the answer to what ails us.
Christian communities are fractured, but humility will help us to heal. Our world has always been fragmented, and Christians are not immune to the forces that drive wedges between people, but we seem to be at a critical juncture in this moment. Although some church leaders seem to be experts at erecting barriers between people, there are many other church workers eager to discern how to love people well while denouncing misinformation, sexism, racism, and other forms of injustice. I applaud this latter group and want to encourage them as they seek to embody humility.
Why is humility necessary? Several reasons.
Humility Is a Christian Identity Marker
In the first few centuries after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, his followers could be identified by their humility.
Moses as an Example of Humility
The humility of Moses is about his relationship with God and not about his posture toward others.
Humility Means Yielding to God
...humility, according to the Scriptures, is not grounded in how well we compete in the world’s game of life but begins with deference to God.
Practicing a culture of humility in the church is hard work, but it fosters a community where all can indeed feel welcomed.
The entire post, "Humility: A Missing Ingredient," can be read here.