~ This blog post is an adapted excerpt from a sermon by Brad Ettore. You can hear the whole sermon, The Role of Humility in Our Lives (part 5), from Agathos Church – a non-denominational Christian Church in Columbus, Ohio by clicking here.
All this talk of humility can raise some questions in our thinking . . .
- If I humble myself (empty myself) how will there be anything left of me?
- If I humble myself, where will my motivation, my drive come from?
- If I humble myself how can I be successful in life?
The reality is we have been fueled by pride all of our lives.
Humility makes us wonder where our fuel is going to come from. When we want for self, everything we do is for self-promotion. It is not wrong to want a nice car, but our lives are often given to having a nice care because we are trying to promote ourselves to having that Mercedes. Everything we earn by the flesh needs maintained by the flesh.
If I humble myself . . . If I give myself to the Father, will I be wimpy now? Will I have lost my strength?
The reality is we can only think of one type of strength. Self-strength. Self-strength is fueled by pride – fueled by the desire for self-promotion. Self-strength costs us everything to muster it up and we are in bondage to trying to keep it up. Self-strength starts and ends with us thinking of ourselves all of the time.
Constantly being conscious of yourself is aptly titled “self-consciousness.” Self-consciousness is one of the many faces of pride . . . it just another avenue through which to be worried about self. But true humility is not self-conscious because it does not care about self. Interestingly, humility actually facilitates our willingness to try new things . . . because we are not afraid about others that would be watching. Pride causes self-consciousness because when we operate in pride, we are vitally concerned with what people would think about US! And like the Pharisees, we will emphasize theory over practice, because putting theory into practice could expose our lack of perfection. It causes us to live from the trophy case instead of taking the field again and again.