Where Did Humility Go?

When I read the verse for today, I immediately thought about how people treat those in the service industry. Our son always goes over the top when he encounters someone who is taking care of him. I’ve remarked before that it isn’t hard to be nice. Unfortunately, in today’s pandemic world fueled by politics, it seems that people hard a hard time simply being nice to each other. Before this year, we could ignore the politicians and go about our lives. We’d complain about how we missed the customer service of the past, but we’d still be civil to each other. It seems that a week can’t go by without another viral video of someone losing their mind about wearing a face mask.

Ask yourself, how have I been treating people lately? Do I treat people in the service industry like indentured servants or fellow human beings? We all encounter a variety of people each day and each one needs something a little different from us. Today more than ever, we need patience, humility and gentleness. It is important to remember that at work, there are four different generations in the workplace today and each needs its own approach whether we are leading them or working with them. One thing that doesn’t change with the generations is that patience, gentleness and humility will go a long way toward maintaining harmony both at work and in this crazy time we are living through.

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2

This verse is one of God’s directions for us. He teaches us, through St. Paul, how we should treat and live with each other. I haven’t yet found a person who enjoys the company of someone who isn’t humble and treats people poorly. We tend to tolerate these people in our lives because we have to, not because we want to. We are taught to love all of God’s creatures but some people make that very hard! Remain patient and tolerant, God is teaching you something. How do you act toward others? Are you the person that people merely tolerate? Are you gentle and humble with those who serve you or work with you? Take time to examine yourself and apply the direction that God is giving us.

Jesus demonstrated these attributes in His life. When the Disciples couldn’t understand the lessons Jesus was teaching, He never gave up. When the Pharisees tried to trap Jesus with trick questions, He loved them anyway and was gentle with them. Even on the cross, Jesus asked for mercy on those that were crucifying Him. I often say that if people are going to quote from the Bible that they should be reading the whole book and not just a few selected verses that make their point. In order for us to live as St. Paul suggests, we need to be reminded of God’s patience with us and we can do that by reading God’s word.

 

Leadership through Humility

Humility is defined as a modest or low view of one’s own importance and is a very rare trait to find in people these days. An entire generation of people have been raised in an era in which “everyone gets a trophy” and they never learned about being humble because everyone was equal. Being humble is something that we all can use a little more of and put into practice a little more often. We should strive to care more about others than we do ourselves. During this time of worldwide crisis, coming together to help one another is more important than ever.

Just once, I’d love to hear a politician praise the work of our healthcare providers or anyone else who is sacrificing their own health in service to others. We are seeing people volunteering to shop for the senior citizens in their neighborhoods, or people sharing supplies that are not readily available anymore or just simply staying connected to those that are in isolation. Whatever the case, people are rising up in a number of amazing ways. Stay healthy and strong during this time in our lives and maybe, just maybe, we will emerge a better mankind.

“Therefore, whoever humbles himself like a child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” Matthew 18:4

Being humble isn’t limited to those in leadership positions; it applies to all of us. When we start thinking that we are better than our neighbors or our co-workers, we have veered off track. Matthew is, of course, quoting Jesus here who is speaking to His disciples and then follows this verse with, 5“Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.” Jesus is telling us not to take ourselves too seriously and to be humble. Small children have not developed the “skill” of being boastful or full of themselves until later in development. Children are compassionate, listen to their parents, don’t think or speak poorly of others and often don’t knowingly sin. We can learn a lot from them.

Jesus is telling us that we are not the most important thing in this world – to stop being so full of ourselves that we think we are the center of attention. We should humble ourselves, set our focus on God and accept more people rather than judge them. When we receive the most humble, we receive Jesus. It isn’t a competition for things and accomplishments; it’s about being good children of God. Humility doesn’t mean you can’t be proud of what you’ve done but it does mean that it doesn’t define you. No one will care what you did here on earth if all you did was serve your own needs.