Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Posture of Humility

There's a video floating around the Internet of a gentleman taking some Mormon missionary kids to task for what they believe. I thought about posting it to give this context, but I'm so disturbed by it that I don't want to give it more airtime than it's already getting. But here's a synopsis:

Basically some Mormon missionaries approach a man in a parking lot hoping to have a conversation where they tell him all about Mormonism and get him to convert. It's what they do. You've seen them riding around our community on their bikes. Well, much to their dismay, this guy is a Christian who knows the Bible, and simply put, he reams them out, leaving them feeling humiliated and looking stupid, while he himself feels awesome for rebuking their false teaching.

What sickened me about the video is the amount of pride, arrogance, hubris and disrespect this gentleman showed in speaking with, and really at, these pour Mormon college kids.

It got me pondering something that I've been thinking about for a while. I think we, and by we I mean Christians in America, have a pride problem. 

So often, by so many people who are the very people we are trying to reach, we are perceived as arrogant. And we all know that even though it shouldn't be this way, perception is reality. When people think of Christians they think we're arrogant.

What leads people to perceive us as arrogant is our tone when talking to people. It's our need to let everyone know that our way is the right way. It's our lack of respect towards people who think and act and believe differently from us. It's how we communicate the truth by shoving it down people's throats or forcing it on them uninvited.

Pride and arrogance are everywhere.

Here's a crazy thought: You can be right but you don't have to tell everyone. Jesus was right, but he didn't go around telling everyone that he was right and they were wrong. He never did that. But we (Christians in America) do. And that's pride. That's arrogance.

And I am convinced that if our posture of arrogance doesn't change to a posture of humility that there is absolutely no hope for the church in America. And the reason I know this is not just speculation, but fact is because both Peter and James tell us that God opposes the proud. 

But God gives grace to the humble.

Think about it: Who would you rather hang out with, someone who is proud or arrogant, or someone who is humble? All of us would choose the humble person. 

Since those are the kind of people we want to hang out with doesn't it make sense that we become that kind of person? 

Here's another thought: I believe that a posture of humility is a more powerful witness than a life of purity. Now don't hear what I'm not saying. I think we should live a life of purity. All of Scripture makes that clear. But what makes us approachable and likable isn't our purity. It's our humility. In other words, approachability and likability cannot be separated from a posture of humility.

Sometimes we use boldness and courage as excuses for pride and arrogance. But we all know that we can be bold and speak with courage and do it with humility. We can even stand for truth and speak the truth in a posture of humility. 

The scary thought is that I know I'm just as guilty of pride and arrogance as the rest of my brothers and sisters. But I don't want to be that way. I want to have a posture of humility.

There is so much more we could say on this topic, but I'll end with a question: What's your posture? God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. May we have the posture of humility.

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