“He must become greater, I must become less” (John 3:30).
John the Baptist at the height of his popularity defers to Jesus and basically says, “It’s not about me, it’s about Jesus. I don’t need the spot light, Jesus does.” It’s a humility that, quite frankly, is missing too often in many of us who claim Christ.
We don’t have to be first.
We don’t have to be best.
We don’t have to have our way.
We don’t have to have the last word.
We do have to be humbly faithful. (Key word: Humbly)
Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31). That’s humility. Humility is thinking of yourself in the same manner that you would think of anyone else. No more. No less. Humility isn’t listed in the Fruit of the Spirit. A Christ-like humility is the cumulative expression of the Fruit of the Spirit. In other words, the result of our displaying love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (see Galatians 5:22-23) is a holy humility. Jesus said, “I am gentle and humble in heart” (Mathew 11;29). It’s being like Jesus.
The Fruit of the Spirit = Holy Humility = Christ-likeness. They are all the same.
Note: One can be humble without holiness, but one cannot be holy without humility.
Humility without holiness is a welcomed surprise.
Holiness without humility is impossible.
We’ve lost humility in our culture. This lack of humility is pushing many to the edges. Those edges used to be called the “fanatical fringe.” No longer “fanatical,” this “I’m-right-you’re-wrong” arrogance and lack of humility is now mainstream and happening in all arenas of life (including the church). If the culmination of the Fruit of the Spirit is a holy humility; then the culmination of the acts of the flesh (also mentioned in Galatians 5—includes, but is not limited to, “hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy”) is a fanatical, self-centered, anti-Christ-likeness and is all too common.
One might expect those who have no allegiance to Jesus to think and behave in an arrogant manner, but not Christians, right? “Holiness” people invalidate their descriptor when they show the same lack of humility as those who make no claims about Christ. Peter wrote to first century church leaders: “Be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble” (1 Peter 3:8). Paul told the people in Ephesus, “Be completely humble” (Ephesians 4:2). He could have said, “Be completely holy.” The best leaders are humble leaders. The best Christians are humble, holy Christians. It’s anti-cultural. It’s not the norm anymore. Humility is missing in our society and too often it’s missing in our churches too.
A holy humility is the way of Jesus. Walk in the Way!