BY REV. CORY KEMP |
When you approach doing a large project, what do you do?
Perhaps you make a list of the necessary steps involved to get you from where you are to where you want to be. Then, you might choose your material resources, gathering them together so you are ready to begin.
Or are you?
Is your project something you can handle on your own? Or do you need to hire someone, or several people, to help you with what you are doing?
If you don’t have the expertise to handle part or all of what you want to make happen, be it a dinner party fundraiser, an enclosed bed to plant a backyard garden, or a trip to a new destination, you will need help.
And the first step in getting the help you need is being honest with yourself that you need it.
In modern terms it seems easier to be able to look at other people and credit them with being better at doing things we can do, but not do as well.
This often translates as asking another’s opinion to make sure you’re doing something right because they look like they know what they’re doing. They may not, but that becomes moot when you want this kind of help. You are willing to set aside looking a bit foolish in favor of being humble enough to ask.
Other times, you may be asked to volunteer your time because your skills are useful in supporting a group who can’t afford to pay you what you would normally earn for your work. Here, you are making a choice to forego financial reimbursement with grace in favor of making a difference in a place that matters to you. You are acting from humility born of gratitude for what you have received.
It takes a certain amount of humility to get to this point, and Paul knew this as he wrote to the congregation at Philippi. Among many other things, he shared that, “In humility regard others as better than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3
As human beings our heads like to compare, contrast, compete and categorize. Putting someone above us, seeing them as better than us, is somewhat uncomfortable.
I don’t believe this is a new concept, and I am reasonably sure Paul was giving this advice to this particular congregation as readily as he would offer it to any group of listeners today.
I don’t believe Paul wanted to convey the idea that seeing other people as better makes us less. Instead, I believe that he was helping his readers reposition everybody to a place of value, regarding all people as having qualities that are worthy of note and taking on for ourselves.
Humility opens up space for each of us to see and hear other people with open minds and hearts. In this space we can mutually share our strengths, learn from each other, and carry one another’s burdens, so fulfilling the law of Christ.
See what you think. Try it out, just for today, and see what happens.
About the author
The Rev. Cory L. Kemp is founder and faith mentor with Broad Plains Faith Coaching. Cory, employing her signature Handcrafted Faith program, supports ordained and lay women leaders in visualizing, understanding and strengthening their beliefs, so that they may know, love and serve God and their communities with generosity, wisdom, and joy.