“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”Luke 14:11
I was sitting in a chair at the dinner table, my father angry, left hand on his hip and right arm extended and shaking. As my mother placed our meal onto the table, I stated that “meatloaf is disgusting and canned green beans are gross.” That comment kicked off my dad’s tirade.
“Do you have a job that pays to put food on the table? Do you search the newspaper for coupons and the sale prices? Do you make the meal for our family?”
As I tried to stifle tears, I mumbled an apology and requested to be excused from the table. In my bedroom, I cried out of embarrassment. I didn’t deserve to have a hot meal every night, my own bedroom for respite, clothes, toys or any of the things that my parents provided for me. My parents loved me and that is the sole reason that they cared for my physical, mental and spiritual health. I was humbled.
The Book of Job is the story of trials and humility. Job was a happy, wealthy and righteous man who trusted God. Then, his earthly world crashed down upon him. He lost his livestock, his servants, some family members and his own health.
Throughout the majority of the book, Job laments his fate and repeats to friends that these terrible events are not because of his actions. He becomes almost self-righteous in his proclamations of innocence and that God should either clear his name or point out his sins.
God does neither. Instead, he bumps Job off of his self-imposed pedestal.
Humbled, Job then confesses that he does not understand God’s ways.
“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. I have uttered what I did not understand. Therefore I despise myself and repent.” (42:2,3,6)
Job learned humility in the face of an awesome God. Regardless of what happens in our lives, daily frustrations or enormous calamities, God calls us to have compassionate and humble hearts. Jesus, through parables, teaches us to demonstrate humility,
“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself with be exalted.” (Luke 14:11)
It is through God’s love and grace that Jesus died for our sins so that our lives are redeemed. We are not saved by our works or actions. Do we humbly recognize the depths of God’s love for us? Or do we complain and fuss that we “deserve” an easier, better, happier, wealthier, more successful life?
As we move through this Easter season, let us embrace a spirit of humility. We can take heed to the lesson of Job and the messages of Jesus’s disciples:
Scripture Reference (ESV)
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and patience.Colossians 3:12
“But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’”James 4:6
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?”Micah 6:8
“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”Philippians 2:3
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”Ephesians 2:8