It is an amazing thing to come across a concept in your life that seems so evident once you realize it, but that was not at all evident before. And it is here that I put forward my thesis:
Humility is – perhaps – the heart of Christianity.
Philippians 2 says “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility, consider others better than yourselves.”
I think I’ve read this verse a hundred times, but something hit me this time, in the full breadth of its implication. Because this book doesn’t end here – it goes on to talk about the humility of Christ (who did not see equality with God as something to be grasped, but humbled himself, even to death on a cross!).
And when I read this, and continue into the verse about “shining like stars” in a corrupt generation, it hits me.
That perhaps the key to faith is not in striving to be perfect, in getting everything right. Nor is it trying “not to be bad” or “a sinner.”
It is in humility. It is in putting aside "yourself," and taking the heart of a servant. It is in purposely choosing Jesus over the things in life that you want or desire. It is in letting go of everything you once felt was important, and saying the only thing that matters is Jesus.
And then trying to be “good” isn’t really that hard. If you approach everyone with the heart of humility, with the idea that “You matter more than me, and you are loved by Jesus no matter what,” then you come to them with a heart of love and a heart of equality and a heart of justice. You come to them in a broken state, and say, “Hello, I am broken, and forgive me if I’m wrong, but maybe you are too? There’s this guy named Jesus, and he took my life and made it into something worth living. I wonder if you’d like to meet Him too.”
But it will only happen if humility is at our core, if everyday we choose to die to ourselves & those desires that are not of God, instead putting Jesus first. To set aside the things that were in our "past life" before our rebirth through Jesus, and instead be those “shining stars” – a light in the darkness, a beacon of hope in the midst of a rather erratic, immoral and destructive place.
But we can never do this unless we first choose humility over selfishness.
I believe this is the answer to the majority of the problems facing the modern Church. And it is the way forward. An incredibly simple, yet incredibly difficult, path for us to take.
It is time to reclaim the cross, and start dying.