Friday, October 4, 2013

When Humility Is a Necessity

“These boots are made for walking,
And that’s just what they’ll do
One of these days these boots
are gonna walk all over you.”

Often humility is defined as letting another person take advantage of us. But in our culture of aggressive, assertive individualism, we want to let others know that just isn’t going to happen. That’s why we like songs like Nancy Sinatra’s hit “These Boots Were Made for Walking”. This song is a personal anthem declaring to anyone who will hear, “Don’t mess with me.”

It is interesting that the Webster’s Dictionary has a very different definition of “humble”.

“having or showing a consciousness of one’s defects or shortcomings…”

What’s important to note about that definition is it says nothing about other people taking advantage of the individual, instead, it emphasizes that the humble person sees him or herself the way they really are and doesn’t try to cover up the truth, even if the truth is not personally flattering. An example of a humble person then would be someone who, after making a mistake, can openly say, “Yes, I made a mistake. I blew it.” Now that doesn’t seem negative at first glance, does it? It is becoming harder and harder, however, for people to be humble in the dictionary sense. We seemed to be obsessed with the idea that it is a sign of weakness to admit that we are not only capable of making mistakes, but that some of those errors are very serious.

People might be able to get away with the “I’m never wrong” image with some other human beings, but such an attitude is absolutely disastrous with God. In fact, the only way a person can begin to get close to God is by having a consciousness of one’s defects or shortcomings.

The message of Jesus Christ’s coming into this world to do for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves is the most liberating and life changing story ever heard. But that story only makes sense if read through the eyes of humility. Join us this Saturday evening (6:00 pm) or Sunday morning (10:00 am) to experience how one preacher of the past described the journey to God. He said, “The way up always begins on our knees.”

Hawaii Lutheran Church (WELS)

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Honolulu, HI
Community Lutheran Church holds protestant chapel services in Honolulu, Hawaii near Pearl Harbor, HI. We are next to the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hickam Air Force Base, and Fort Shafter Hawaii. Look for us directly behind the Salt Lake, Hawaii, Target.