Summary: What the Bible says about humility
My wife is a lover of McDonald’s curly fries. One day, we were at the drive-thru when I saw a big McDonald billboard with the tagline “I’m lovin’ it.” Sometime later, I googled and found out that years before McDonald Restaurants used the tagline “You Deserve a Break Today.” I am fascinated with strategies that businesses employ to attract customers. They are implying that customers are bosses and should get things their way. They are saying that it is all about what you want, when you want it or how you want it. In this world where everyone loves to become bosses, humility is frowned upon because culture looks down to the servant but glorifies bosses.
Most people in the world today tend to think that their life would not get any better even when they obey God. They assume that life is good even without God. It’s somewhat a common idea that obeying God will give them extra burdens and obligations. Some even think that it is enough for them to just practice the Golden Rule, “In everything, treat others as you would want them to treat you…” Matthew 7:12 (NET). History have proven that people striving for a better life, even after scoring in material possessions still lacks the satisfaction and security they crave in life because life without God is purposeless.
Life without God is not only purposeless but is lacking of something vital. We hear stories of famous people looking for the missing elements in their lives. Some found it when they found their way back to God but unfortunately some thought that they have found it but in the end and sometimes when it was too late to realize that what they found was fake. As Christians, we ask for so many things from God that sometime we asked for the wrong thing. James and John once asked a wrong thing from Jesus. “Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came over and spoke to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do us a favor.” “What is your request?” he asked. They replied, “When you sit on your glorious throne, we want to sit in places of honor next to you, one on your right and the other on your left.” But Jesus said to them, "You don't know what you are asking!...” Mark 10:35 – 38 (NLT). This silly request is like asking someone to sign a blank cheque! They were not only asking for something beyond their abilities but snobbed others by stating that they were better thus deserved to get their request. “Now when the other ten heard this, they became angry with James and John.” Mark 10:41 (NET). When we ask for something that we do not deserve and with only self-interest in mind, God is not pleased and others may turn their back on us.
Probably, the most important question is why do people like to be in power? Why do people crave for higher position? It is because of a mentality the world is promoting. Bosses are the one who determines everything. And servants are just tools to get things done. Contrary to common belief, Jesus stated, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions use their authority over them. But it is not this way among you. Instead whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of all.” Mark 10:42 – 44 (NET). I once read that in the ant’s community hierarchy, the most important individual are not the queen or the soldiers but the worker ants. They are the one who feeds the rest of the colony. We should learn from nature that God created as it is encrypted within it the basic truth of God’s eternal kingdom.
In conclusion, Jesus made it clear that those who desire to be the greatest should practice humility, an art long-forgotten in human history. He also showed us that the only way to serve like Jesus is to become a servant. To become a humble servant we need to have God in our life. Only when we have God can our emptiness be filled. And when the emptiness is filled with God-like virtue, we will not crave for power and position on earth but instead fix our eyes to the heavenly reward.