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  • Jonathan Runyan

Real vs. Fake Humility

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Last Sunday morning I threw a tantrum in front of the K-4th graders.

I fell to my knees and said, "Nobody likes me! I'm dumb! No one will be my friend!!"

I then asked them what I was doing. One kid laughed while shouting "throwing a baby fit!"

Earlier that morning I was sitting in the HS/College classroom. I started asking the kids to give me a definition of humility. One of the girls said, and I'm paraphrasing, "humility isn't thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself 'less'."

I almost told her I had already thought of a definition like that, but then realized the sad irony and quickly moved on.

An obsession with self-thought, how we've been treated, our own value, proving to others we're worthy (or right), angry that we're unworthy; whatever form it takes, is ingrained in every human being.But true humility? True humility isn't self-pity. True humility isn't self-confidence. True humility is the total absence of self-thought. It's impossible for teenagers, adults, and ESPECIALLY k-4th graders. Let me repeat that. ESPECIALLY K-4TH GRADERS.

Again, it's impossible. The absence of self-thought is impossible. True humility is impossible. Unless...

Unless you are so convinced of someone's love toward you that nothing else even matters. Being loved, right, justified, is irrelevant because you have something greater.

"...God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

This love is so great, it not only fills the heart but also replaces the unending needs of the heart. The need of self to be justified from mistreatment. The need of self to have others see into your life, to affirm you. The need of self to be right and therefore worthy. It's all cast away, burned up by love. Not just any love, a love that's self-sacrificial. A love tailored for you.

That is the love that Jesus Christ gives. That kind of love transforms the self so much that there's no longer even room for self. Why? Because it's been replaced by something greater.

"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love." -John 15:9

This is true humility.

The absence of self with the love of God.

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