Wednesday, November 09, 2005

What is Humility in the Midst of Success?

I wrote this for my floor earlier this year:
Is it knowing and saying that the other team might be better even though you beat them? But what if you are truly better than the opponent? Is it knowing you are all equal as humans and that competition doesn’t matter? Maybe… but we are guys… competition matters! Humility by the Bible’s definition from what I see goes something like this: Don’t think you are above God and don’t think that you know better than others. Treat others as though they are better than yourself and love them as you love yourself. Competition isn’t against each other, but against Satan, evil, and the evil he has caused in others in this world. Pride is the antonym and it is always bad”(Philippians 2, Titus 3:2, 1 Peter 5:5) Another way I have heard humility defined is: “Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, but it is thinking of yourself less.”
What is humility in a time of success? It’s not just an action but an action that comes from an attitude. It’s realizing that success isn’t just for yourself. It’s realizing that above the priority of winning is the priority to help others. What victory is there in winning an intramural championship if walls between friends are built up, feelings are hurt, and bitterness is formed? About now, those of you who are competitive are grimacing and thinking, “Come on, just let me be competitive and enjoy it. None of this play nice stuff.” But wait! We know as Christians PRIDE is not something to mess with! So I put it out there again,
What is humility in the midst of success? Maybe it’s giving glory where it is truly due the bold statement of saying, “I didn’t do anything special, God and the guys gave me the opportunity,” If that is too bold or cheesy for you… maybe it’s using the windows opened by your talents. Use the influence gained from being talented or winning to teach, guide, and connect with someone who looks up to you. Maybe it’s consciously making a decision to play first to help the team in whatever way possible before trying to be the stud you think you deserve to be. Maybe it’s giving up the reward, prize, or glory that you deserve to help those who are less fortunate(ie. $ to support those in need). That sounds familiar(Philippians 2:5-11). Could you allow a friend to honestly believe that you got beat at some sport while playing your hardest by someone who isn’t very good, without defending yourself? Even if you won? (ie. a girl in ping pong, guy in arm wrestling, etc.)
May be you do need to think less of yourself. Do you really think you deserve your accomplishments? Who gave you your breathe to live through that success, who gave you the strength to do it, and do you honestly think you came up with that desire and drive in the first place(Acts 17:25-28)? Maybe you just have a healthy confidence. Next, the question is are you thinking of yourself less? What do you prove by winning something? Who do you prove it to? Yourself? Other humans? God? God’s not really impressed by a trophy. Sure there is fun in winning but if humility is not there all that happens is that we become that much more distracted by how great we are. If that is our goal what are we really accomplishing? What are we winning? Is the battle going on, but we showed up to the wrong field? What is Humility in a time of success. Lord please help us not to miss it.

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