Low Key

“Humility is so shy, if you begin talking about it, it leaves.” – Timothy Keller
It used to be that words like “humility” or “humble” were buzzwords belonging mostly to the church. Today, they fit nicely on t-shirts next to words like “hustle” and get used by almost everyone. 
The world is talking about it, but how do we achieve it?
Can a person just BE humble? Is it that easy?
Does a truly humble person know that they are humble? 
Does it even matter?

The truth is that (imperfect) humility is possible and could change your whole life.

Raise your hand if you’d like to be strengthened and lifted up by God himself. 
Now raise your other hand if you think having God himself working against you is something you’d rather not experience. 
According to Scripture, God OPPOSES the proud, but gives grace to the humble. I don’t know about you, but I want to be on God’s team, because I know I can’t win if He’s opposing me. 
Before we talk about what that looks like, let’s talk about the opposite of humility: pride. 
Pride is one of the few things that really seemed to get under Jesus’ skin. 
I know when I said “pride” that you thought of someone else. THAT guy.

But pride lurks within all of us. 

Whether it shows up in obvious ways like arrogant boasting and pathetic attempts to impress everyone, or the more subtle version that loathes in self-pity we are constantly tempted to make everything about us. Sometimes pride sounds like “woe is me.” Sometimes it sounds like “whoa look at me.”
Often pride tells us that all the good things we have are because of how good we are. Other times pride tells us that these bad things shouldn’t be happening because of how good we are. No matter which road pride takes, it leads to a dead end. 
Looking down on others? Craving praise from others? Completely ignoring others?
None of those sound like our mighty, yet humble, King Jesus. 
Sadly, even our best efforts at humility quickly are noticed by ourselves and others. We start to think “man, I am pretty humble” and wind up right back at square one. Trying every day to be humble isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but we will fall very short. 
The only hope we have is in GOSPEL-DRIVEN HUMILITY.
I would encourage you to read about the brokenhearted tax collector in Matthew 23. He can teach us a lot about humility. The only way we can be humble is when we realize how weak we really are and take hold of how much we have been loved anyway. You see, it’s not our impressive résumé that makes us somebody, it’s actually our ability to realize that we are nobody that makes us somebody in this upside-down kingdom.
The only way we can be humble is by looking at Jesus’ humility. 
The only motivation to serve that is long-lasting is the fact that Jesus served us. 
The only way to not let our heads get too big is to realize He is the head. 
Our flesh will cause us to be like the disciples, always asking “who’s the greatest?”
Always saying “pick me! pick me!”
But Jesus calls us to something even greater than being great. 
He calls us into the greatness of being low. Of being servants. 
Through His example we can live low-key lives that pay more attention to God and to our neighbors than to our own climbing of the proverbial totem pole. 
We are not to be impressive but to be “like children.”
Children who fully trust their dad to take care of them. 
Children who are not interested in social rankings or economical classes. 
Children who love their father and love their brothers and sisters. 
We can do this because Jesus not only served us in His life and death but continues to serve us to this day. The most powerful man to ever walk the earth humbled himself over and over. Washing feet. Risking reputation by eating with lowly sinners. Staying on the cross. 
So go out today, and realize that it’s not about you. It’s all about Him! It’s all about them! 
I hope that you can be the kind of person that C.S. Lewis once described (paraphrased):
“If we were to meet a truly humble person, we would never come away from meeting them thinking they were humble… The thing we would remember from meeting a truly gospel-humble person is how much they seemed to be totally interested in us. The essence of gospel-humility is not thinking more of myself or thinking less of myself. It is thinking of myself less. There is freedom in self-forgetfulness.”
How might your family, friend, and work relationships change if you were humble?
Until next time, stay low key. 

– T.J. Woodard