Hwy. 63 South & River Rd., Ottumwa, IA 52501
Believe Series running January 1 - August 16
August 20, 2017
Article by: Rick Brown
On the 2015 season of The Voice TV show, one contestant was getting his first-hand coaching from music stars Pharrell and Lionel Richie. The young man could sing. Problem is, he wanted everyone to know it. He made the comment “there’s no song I can’t do.”
His coaches looked at each other. Then, Lionel Richie—winner of four Grammy Awards and who has sold over 100 million records—said to him, “If you’re really good, they’ll tell you. Don’t you ever tell them.”
To his credit after his miscue on national TV the young contestant realized he needed to bring a level of humility to the process.
Humility is a difficult trait to pin down. You want to be confident in your abilities while not appearing arrogant. If you know you are humble, are you? And if someone were to ask you if you were humble and you said, “Yes,” wouldn’t that place you in a position of becoming proud that you are humble?
And yet, humility is a characteristic of those who follow Jesus. “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” writes Paul (Philippians 2:3-4). A couple of verses later Paul reminds us that Jesus “humbled himself.”
Through his example we learn that humility is something we can do to ourselves. Throughout Scripture we find that humility comes through prayer and fasting, obedience to authority, confession and repentance. These are acts that place us voluntarily in a position of humility.
Jesus told the story of two men who went to pray at the temple. One listed to God all the great things he had done and how he was not like the other man. The other man just asked God to be merciful to him. Jesus ends the parable by saying. “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Lionel Richie merely paraphrased Jesus in his advice to the young man. We don’t have to tell God or anyone else what we have accomplished in order to get a reaction. God knows what is going on and he gives us the task of remaining humble and leaving the exaltation to him.
That doesn’t mean a false-humility is acceptable. Paul also wrote that we are to “not think to highly of ourselves but think with sober judgment.” Know your abilities. God has given them to you. But you don’t have to broadcast your abilities to those around you. If you have them, they will notice. And no matter how gifted you are, there are others who helped get you there.
Humble yourself. And let God take care of the exalting.