Humble First, Then Healing

Where there is a lack of vision and leadership people will make up their own rules.

I have wrestled with 2 Chronicles 7:14 for months. In the middle of these promises and selfies of God’s activity, there is a verse that says…”If you will….” God will not, nor can He do these things for His people. Grace empowers us to do them, but grace will not do it for us.

Humbling ourselves is about kneeling before God, acknowledging we need Him. It is submission to His good plan and the normal reaction to His holiness and supremacy.

I’m amused that the Governor of Virginia is going to move the statue of Robert E. Lee some night–cloak of darkness. Just never know what a dead general on top of a horse is going to do some night.  You just can’t trust ole Robert Lee after all these years. That piece of stone is liable to fly off that pedestal and start something. (I confess my sarcasm. But I enjoy it–to make a point:)

Humility is not a posture. It does not describe a pose or photo op. It is about action, behavior, interaction, self-awareness and how we live and love.

If My people will…

Humble themselves

            Empathy

To humble oneself is to agree that I am not the center of the universe. As a Follower of Jesus, we are called from the sidelines. This is not a call to sympathy—feeling sorry for a person’s hurt, but empathy—to walk with and to enter into a person’s pain. That is a hard assignment and nearly impossible. I can’t enter into a black brother’s experience, but I can walk in step with him. I can ask him questions about his hurt or whatever he is experiencing. I can keep quiet and buy him a coffee as he thinks without telling me anything. I can guard his back when he cries or screams.

Seems this is only possible if there a relationship.

            Omniscience

Humbling oneself is to live a humility-driven life and lifestyle. I don’t know everything! It is possible that I have gotten some things wrong. It is possible I have concluded wrongly because I was taught or assumed/consumed inaccurate information. Maybe I’ve made agreements—Brene Brown’s statement can be stretched here: “I don’t have enough facts to freak out!”

One more avenue: Humbling oneself does not demand that you abandon all you know or all you think to be true. Humility demands that we examine what we “know” and “believe.” It is asking the Holy Spirit to “Examine me and know my heart.” (Psalm 51)

            Curiosity

Humility is a motivator—look into things. Ask questions, search out things. I have not understood Institutional Racism, nor did I want to. It is a bit clearer now. It is more than rhetoric and I have repented. I’ve read biographies. Some of those people of color are now my heroes. When we heard the stories of a family from Somalia, we were enlightened and able to extend a measure of empathy. Humility calls forth our curiosity–What does this mean? What is going on, here? What is my role in creating and solving hurt?

Be intentional what you choose to read and embrace. Know the writer’s bias and especially what they want you to conclude and to do. What is their “Therefore…?”

            Service

The bottom line of marketing is—the consumer defines value. The seller cannot define value for the buyer. Service must have value to the people we serve. Service is not about doing something we think is noble, therefore, helpful to the needy.

Carole and I were involved in a Maundy Thursday event where the men washed the feet of their wives as an act of humility and service. I am not a method actor, but I asked the question. “What are we trying to say by washing feet?” The answer was, “Just do it.” Wasn’t a satisfactory answer!

Carole hated it! I was glad to do it. I’m not too proud to serve that way. I rub lotion on her feet when they hurt. But we were both uncomfortable and it was meaningless. It had no value. The server’s quest is always “What can I do?” “How can I help?”

“If My people will humble themselves….”

©2020 D. Dean Benton

 

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