My last “Reflections” I wrote about “Pride”.
Today, I write about “Humility”.
Two sides….Same coin. Because both have to do with “self”, so while pride is about self focus humility is about being other focused.
Pride says “look at me” while humility deflects that kind of naval gazing.
When I was a teenager the Rev. Sun Myung Moon was growing in popularity. He was the cultic leader of the Unification Church and his followers touted him as the coming Messiah. They were referred to as “Moonies”.
Interestingly, he has in his name both the Sun and the Moon. If I were to guess, the right Reverend was more Sun than Moon.
Here is what I mean.
If the Sun and the Moon each had human characteristics (play along with me here), the Sun would be described as “prideful” while the moon would be described as “humble.” The world literally revolves around the sun and the sun insists on shining its light all over the world. The sun is big, bright and takes center stage . It emanates heat and light; get too close to it and it will burn you to death; stray too far from it and you will freeze to death.
But the moon…the moon has no light of its own. It does not generate heat or light. On its own it is just a big old rock spinning around the earth. And as the sun shines its light on it. it is one of the most beautiful sights in nature. It takes no glory of its own, it just reflects the glory, and the heat of that big old fire in the sky. The moon reflects the light of the sun.
Every analogy has its pitfall and this is no exception. So continue to play along, if you would.
As believers and followers of Jesus we ourselves ought to be little “moonies”. (Not that kind). We should be humble enough to know the world does not revolve around us and that our light is just a reflection of the Son of God. Apart from Him we have no light of our own. He is the Son who lights the whole world, that warms the whole world and we simply reflect His light. (By the way, the Son, in the case of Jesus, is not prideful!)
If one would want to study a Bible character who lacked true humility I would recommend reading the story of King Saul. In 1 Kings 15 Samuel the prophet condemns Saul for acting pridefully and disobediently. Then he nails him with these words: “Although you were once small in your own eyes did you not become the head of all the tribes of Israel?”
Saul’s started out great. When he was “small” in his own eyes. When he lived humbly and obediently. Not self loathing but other centered. But when he sought people’s attention, when he needed their approval, when he compromised his faith and sought other gods and the kingdoms of this world, his own world began to fall apart. Slowly…but steadily and surely. His fall from grace was great. And tragic.
“When you were small in your own eyes.”
That is a good word for us. All of us. To be small in our own eyes. To be humble and grateful and obedient to the Lord.
From presidents to pastors…From politicians to prisoners. From the rich to the poor, the sick to the healthy, the educated to the uneducated. We will do well to be “small in our own eyes.” Then we will see the world, we will see people, differently….Instead of pushing our agendas, casting our judgments and insisting on our ways, we will reflect the Son. His warmth and His light will radiate from us.
The natural way is for the sun to shine on the moon and for the moon to reflect the light of the sun. In the same way, we allow Jesus to shine on us so we can reflect His life. We will be “moonies” for Jesus. Humble and obedient. Followers of the Son reflecting His light and bringing attention and glory to Him and not ourselves. We will be light in the darkness. The Son of God may be hidden to people but they will see His light reflecting off of us. They may think it is our light because most people don’t stop to think that the moon does not generate its own light. Most people think in terms of “the light of the moon” when in reality it is “the light of the sun reflecting off the moon.” To live in humility is to see things in a right perspective, in a Godly way from a God filled point of view. Authentic humility is a beautiful thing. And there are few things more beautiful than a full moon.
What do you think? How does it make you feel?