Have you ever been humiliated? Have you experienced many colorful embarrassments throughout your life like I have? Well, as every human being experiences humiliation we can also learn how to earn the reward that is attached to such seemingly unbearable experiences…humility.
You may be asking what really is humility? Is it good? Is it for weak people or strong? What the crap? According to the Toddster’s Dictionary, humility is defined as “the act of placing oneself in a position of complete submission to a higher power”. Now, this can come in many forms but the key is submission. With humility there is the willful act of obedience as directed by the higher power that almost throws “reason” and “logic” out the window. This may sound unreasonable but we tend to look at submission in a negative light due to the lack of trust in that higher power being good.
Take for example your boss. Mr. Demanding comes to your office or desk and asks you to complete a task a certain way that just makes no sense at all. Naturally, as a good employee you put in your two cents and unfortunately he simply disagrees and asks you to to perform the task as directed. “Are you frigggin’ kidding me?!” is all you can think. As a result, you don’t do the task well, in fact you change some of it to your way as a result of “knowing better” and you move on with your week.
Demander the Commander comes back requesting the material and immediately notices your failure to comply with his directions. This isn’t the first time this has happened and after another short, heated convo he returns to his office thinking once again how you are a rebellious employee and how he can get rid of you.
Does this sound familiar to you? Have you experienced or seen someone act like this? The end result of this behavior is almost always unemployment or the destruction of a relationship. So where does humility come in to play?
Jesus, the greatest teacher and leader of all time spoke on this subject virtually endlessly. He told a great short story about attending a wedding, check it out:
“When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Gospel of Luke chapter 14)
When we fail to submit ourselves to someone greater than us we are doomed to fall and be humiliated. But, if we truly honor the one over us by actually doing what they say (even if we don’t understand or agree) we will be blessed by humility! Sometimes this is very difficult to do, most of the time there will be some sort of ridicule or backlash from others because it is not the easy or popular way to live, their is no pride in humility.
If the employee in the situation above were to humble himself and listen to his boss by doing what they said, in most cases he would learn that the “Mr. Demanding” wasn’t so demanding after all but had some great ideas on how to do the job well. I have learned that to honor others above myself, especially my employers, is life giving and freeing to my mind and soul.
When we go to the banquet, what seat will be sit in? Will we choose humiliation or humility?