Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost — November 5, 2017
“All who humble themselves will be exalted” (Matthew 23:1–12). Humility isn’t cool these days. And we might wonder if it was a trait folks respected in Jesus’ day.
Not so long ago speaking of someone’s humble attitude could be considered a compliment. But then there were also times when an abused or oppressed person was held back from reaching their potential, with an admonition to be humble like Jesus. In those cases it definitely was not helpful.
These days, in our efforts to raise up generations that are more confident in their abilities and essential worth, we seem to have reached a place where we accept an excess of pride and even arrogance as something people respect and honor. Public figures who often make ridiculous amounts of money are lifted up in our esteem as we watch them proudly announce that they see no reason for anyone to hold them to any kind of standard of behavior. They are not role models. And we have to agree—many of them surely aren’t what we want our children to emulate.
Yet each of us is a role model. Whether we live a hugely public lifestyle or a have a much smaller sphere of influence, we impact the lives of others with the way we choose to live.
Being proud and being humble don’t have to be opposed to each other. As Christians we know we are children of God and recognize the inherent worth and value of each human being. The problem is when any sense of humility is lost and our pride takes us to a state of egotism that leads us to think we are better than others.
So, let’s consider this: WWJS? (What would Jesus say?).
Wanda Veldman, pastor, Veedum Moravian Church, Pittsville, Wisconsin