This is the 5th blog in a 7-part series on Mentorship and deals with the fourth criterion of the five criteria needed to be a good mentee and a good mentor: our humility to change.
Dear friends, as we journey with Christ on the proverbial road to heaven, there is one key ingredient that is always lacking: humility. And, if we think we are very humble, that is a sure sign of the opposite. Pride is deadly. Spiritual pride is the deadliest.
Many well-meaning Biblical scholars who have dedicated their entire lives to serving Christ have fallen hard to Spiritual Pride. It is insidious inside Christ’s global church today. And, the bigger they are in reputation, accomplishments, and impact, the harder those who succumb to this malady fall. Every week in the news, we hear of another major Christian leader falling. Crashing and burning. Flaming out in very public disgrace. Alcohol. Drugs. Sex. Lying. Cheating. Stealing. Plagiarism. Rage. Broken relationships. Divorce. The list goes on. Why? My answer: Lack of humility.
True humility is hard to attain, and harder to keep. It is at times fleeting. We arrive at a good place, in the right relationship with Christ, start having some measure of what we deem success, and then it goes to our head, hardens our heart, and Spiritual Pride takes over. Another way of saying it: Pride comes before every fall. Having the humility to change is the subject of today’s blog, but I thought it was important to say that the bigger problem is the “maintaining” of that humility, for the marathon we are all running, for the high calling of Christ Jesus. Let’s run this race to win. When pride rears its ugly head, let’s fall on the rock of Christ and be broken to pieces. Over and over again. Let’s allow each other to speak into our lives and boldly speak the Word of Truth to each other. And, one of my favorite sayings comes to mind: “If you can spot it, you’ve got it.” Ouch.
HUMILITY IS A MAJOR THEME IN GOD’S HOLY WORD
The Holy Scriptures are replete with calls to be humble. Here are ten great ones:
- Philippians 2:3-4: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
- James 4:6: “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.'”
- Proverbs 22:4: “Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life.”
- Colossians 3:12: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”
- 1 Peter 5:5: “In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.'”
- Micah 6:8: “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
- Matthew 23:12: “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
- Proverbs 15:33: “Wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord, and humility comes before honor.”
- Matthew 18:4: “Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
- Ephesians 4:2: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
These verses encompass different aspects of humility, including how we should treat others, how God views humility, and the rewards of being humble.
Take this quick assessment and see where you stand with your “humility to change.”
Score yourself on a scale of 25 points per question, for the following four questions. See how close you score to an “A,” which would be a 90% or better. Then, whatever your score, think about how you are going to improve.
FOUR QUESTIONS TO DETERMINE YOUR “HUMILITY TO CHANGE”:
- I’m aware of my shortcomings, see the need for improvement, and am receptive to learning new ways of functioning. Score __ (Max. 25 points)
- My peers would describe me as self-critical and continually looking for ways to improve my performance. Score __ (Max. 25 points)
- I am growth-oriented and actively seek to learn from others. Score __ (Max. 25 points)
- I strive for humility and recognize when my ego interferes with my ability to learn and change. Score __ (Max. 25 points)
Total Score ___ (Max. 100 points)
Based on your score, what actions are you going to take to grow your humility to change?
ACTION STEPS EXERCISE (similar exercise as yesterday’s post suggested)
If you find that you lack some humility to change, make a list of actions to take that will help you. Perhaps you can ask a mentor, spiritual advisor, pastor, or friend to help you brainstorm such a list of actions.
SHARE YOUR INSIGHTS WITH CHRIST AND OTHERS
Share these with Christ Jesus, in your next quiet time, and share these with an earthly mentor. If you don’t have a flesh-and-blood mentor, and you think you are too old to have one, think again. Maybe that is an action you can take: Get several mentors here on earth. If you don’t see Christ as your mentor, and this is a new insight for you, as it was for me as I wrote this, then perhaps you want to formally ask for your relationship with Christ to go to the “next level” and ask for Him, the Perfect Mentor, to start mentoring you. And, if you are not having a daily quiet time, perhaps you want to start with that baby step.
CONCLUSION (repeated from ALL previous posts in this series)
Until we are in heaven, we will need mentors. And, others will need us to mentor them. May we all mentor others with the same skills and abilities that Christ had. May we all be as coachable as mentees as Christ was. And may all of us have mentors, and mentor others, helping Christ’s ministry leaders finish well. Amen. I believe this is God’s will in each of our lives. What do you think? I would love to hear from you on this subject. Feel free to write to me at the address below, and share your thoughts.
Your aspiring servant,
August 4, 2023
POSTSCRIPT: Dear friends, if this daily, transparent “Conversations with Christ” blesses you, please go to www.SOLIDpastors.org, where you will find these posted, and a repository of all, in English and Spanish. Note: For ease of reference, all scriptures quoted are from the NIV.
If you ever want to chat, you can reach me at Daniel@SOLIDpastors.org. May Christ bless you richly as you have your own intimate, daily conversations with Christ.