5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage… (Philippians 2)
Humility is perfect quietness of heart. It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a blessed home in the Lord, where I can go in and shut the door, and kneel to my Father in secret, and am at peace as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and above is trouble. ―
When I was young, I was a good basketball player. And I knew it. I would play with guys much older than me and beat them. When they would compliment me on my game, I would deflect their praise, “No, I’m not good at all. I played terribly.”
The trouble with the false modesty is that it would do two things. First, it would leave the one paying the compliment feeling lower than just being beaten. “If this guy thinks he isn’t good, what must he think of me?” Second, it would often solicit even more insistent praise. “No man, you are really good!” And on it went.
Christ’s mindset was not one of false modesty. He knew he was intimately One with Father God, but he did not take advantage of others with this powerful knowledge. When someone wronged him, he forgave them. He didn’t worry about how people responded to him. He simply carried out his mission to love God by serving others.
Humility is a precious virtue in all relationships. It begins with humility toward God. If we do not respect God’s authority in our lives, we are not likely to respect others who are created equal to us. False modesty and haughty pride unravel the cords of our relationships, and pull us apart from God’s intended oneness, leaving us bereft in a barren desert wilderness.
Holy and healthy relationships are built on a humble heart. We develop this by being content with who God created us to be, God’s children in Christ. We no longer base our worth on how many like us or follow us. We are confident that our lives have value in the eyes of God, who keeps us calm even as the worldly storms surround us.
I’ve been on Facebook about 6 years now. I have a good many friends and followers. I have others who subscribe to my blog and listen to my podcast. On occasion, I sit in my basement and pat myself on the back for how many I am reaching with all the important things I have to say. More often, I crave more. More likes. More shares. More readers. More followers. I get frustrated, even a bit depressed, when I pour out my heart in a post and no one responds.
The key is not to place my purpose on how fruitful I am, but how faithful. I am called to write words that reflect God’s Word; share a message that conveys God’s message; inspire those with ears to hear and hearts to follow God’s ways. When I think on these things, not only does my understanding of God increase, but so does my self-confidence, and my ability to build healthy and holy relationships with others in the Spirit of Christ.