Today, we dove into humility. Wow. This has been truly transformational for me. Tonight I sat down with my wife and we talked about it in the context of our marriage. It is a radical shift in our thinking that McManus discussed today. It can lead to a revolution of the soul, an uprising of men.
Ryan Walker sent me an email today articulating his struggle with this concept vs. the last sessions of ManSchool where we’ve talked about LivingUP, being a warrior, etc. and now this…this concept of humility. Is that a doormat? How do the two reconcile?
I likened it to a Special Forces master. Those guys are the best of the best. They know their stuff. They know their gear. They know how to use it with lethal precision. They can pack their stuff in the dark and travel light enough to “go” but strong enough to kill. They go where no man goes. They do things no men are called to do. When you think of them, you get this image of a square jaw and a physique of a fortress. Like any true soldier, they are among the most admired men. And yet you also get the image of quiet strength. The don’t brag or boast. To be convinced, “I’m all that” and to walk with a cocky strut defies the call they have as men and would probably get them killed. They are humbled by their awesome responsibility and they prefer to fly under cover with no attention on them.
And so, the two concepts for us – that of LiveUP, the glory of God is man “fully alive”, a warrior coincides perfectly with this concept of humility. That to LiveUP we must first bow down. Or as McManus entitled this chapter, “Rising Downward.”
Here are some summary comments…
To live the life God created you to live requires courage. Courage happens in the context of integrity. Integrity = living an integrated life where we move beyond making decisions driven by our circumstances or the opportunity and instead making those decisions based on our character.
Integrity comes out of humility. Therefore, to live the life God created you to live, you have to first be humble. Humility is not generally one of the world’s most admired qualities. After all, it is the confident that succeed right? Proud, confident and arrogant always seem to have victory over the humble.
Have you ever wanted to be chosen by God? The person trusted with a big dream? A big responsibility? Humility is the defining characteristic God looks for in choosing people to advance His cause (i.e. Moses). In Philippians 2:1, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, value others above yourself not looking to your own interests but the interest of others.”
Humility expressed in choosing the posture of a servant. The servant’s ultimate act of humility is when they make their life a sacrifice for others. Humility then becomes our highest virtue.
Jesus changed the picture of what leadership looked like. He integrated the meshing of leadership and servanthood. He also changed our view of God.
He left divinity to become human, his majesty to become a servant and for many of us, we think this is the first time God experienced this. We think of God as exalted, as almost this divine narcissist that needs to be adored and glorified – that all of creation is there to meet His needs. That this is the driving narrative of creation. If it is – that we were to glorify Him – then He did a really lousy job because we fall so short!
But…if the driving narrative of God’s creation is love, then it all starts to make wonderful sense.
We think of God as this creature of power, fury, wisdom, all knowing, all powerful – and He is all those things – but He is also the purest form of humility.
Becoming a servant wasn’t new for God when Jesus came down. No, He is the god of humility. His path is servanthood. Matthew 11:29 Jesus said, “I am gentle and humble of heart”. This is the heart of God. Which is why He is worthy of ALL of our worship and praise…because He is a servant!
It seems strange and demeaning to say God is a servant. It recoils us because it is the aspect of God we desire least. We genuinely don’t see servanthood as an elevated status. We see this as “beneath” God because truthfully, we hope against hope that it is beneath us. “Come to me for I am gentle and humble of heart.” This is who God is!
If God is a god of humility and servanthood and we see that materialized in the life of Jesus, then it makes sense if you ask the question, “Who does God choose?” “What kind of person does God entrust?” The person with the humble heart.
This is radical, radical stuff and it isn’t what most of the church is teaching. But it is transformational. It will begin a revolution of the soul. It will stir an UPrising. Imagine, just imagine, if we all operated out of this place. Imagine if I loved my wife with the heart of a servant. Imagine how that would radically transform our intimacy away from me getting what I want to get and, instead, giving her what she needs – unconditional love. Imagine how this can transform a company. Imagine how it can transform a community or a ministry or a mission work.
This chapter was so packed full of powerful stuff that we doing chapter 3 next week as well. Two weeks on humility! Join us next week if you can. I’m telling you from the feedback we got and the group discussions, this is powerful. Here are the slides
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