Humility: Pass It On
Updated: Jun 30, 2019
Two weeks ago, my best friend, Giovanni, from Italy came to my hometown for work! Now everyone knows a best male friend to a young woman is most likely more than just a “friend” to her, and that is exactly what Giovanni is to me. =) So, naturally, I was thrilled that he was coming to MY hometown for work because we rarely get to see each other!! (Giovanni works for a famous musician as his producer and personal assistant, and this musician rarely comes to my hometown because I live in a small metropolitan city.) So, I went to the concert to see Giovanni, which I have done twice before in the largest nearby city when the musician came on tour, but this time I could only see Giovanni for 10 minutes.
What I discovered on June 25, 2019 after facebook stalking Giovanni is that he was not supposed to see me at this particular concert because he was supposed to work backstage, not in the sound box like he normally does when he has permission to interact with the audience. BUT he broke the rules, could have lost his job, and came just to see me because he wanted to see me and he did not want to hurt me!! I had told him that it would break my heart if he did not take a minute to say hi and touch and kiss me. So, Giovanni saw me without saying that he was doing a lot for me and without saying that he expected extra entitlements because he treats me well and does extra things for me!! He just said that he was happy to see me, held me, and showered my face with kisses!! This is how I learned that humility is not expecting human awards or praise and entitlements and rights. It is love without anything in return even if someone treats you bad and never shows gratitude.
In Philippians 2:3-4, Paul writes, “…in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” (NIV) Giovanni did exactly this because he risked his job so that he would not hurt me. Moreover, he did it without hypocrisy and patronizing me like Matthew 6:2-3 says, “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” (NIV)
In these verses of Matthew 6, God refers to the hypocrites as not humble like He says in Luke 18:9-14:
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (NIV)
God refers to the same people who consider themselves righteous and think that they deserve rewards as not humble. This comparison shows that God defines humility as doing good acts without rewards or bragging.