There was a certain kid in my grade as I was growing up who always had to win. Basketball was his favorite thing to do, and he was always practicing in the parking area behind his home. When we would play at school, I remember the kid yelling about bad plays, or bad shots. He was always so frustrated with everyone, and I’m sure it was because he felt that he could do it better. He was the star player, and only he could do it well. I remember the kid as he grew older, being a very good player. I also remember him growing into a very conceited young man. His smirk when speaking to others spoke for itself.
I try to teach my children about the importance of remaining humble. If there is anything that I have learned, it is that the Lord longs for us the remain that way. I have a son who is very good at Football. His coach has said that he is doing very well to be as young as he is. His mother and I try to teach all of our children the core fundamentals of humbleness and humility. I also know that the coaches at their school are doing a good job of doing this as well.
There are so many competing within the adult life, and I sometimes see just how severe this competition is. It is everywhere I turn. Within the workplace, some individuals want to be the best, and work their way to the top. In the church, people want to be recognized for their achievements. On WordPress, people spend hours putting together a perfect writing that will get the most likes. In life, we are all competing for recognition. We place ourselves in situations in order for others to notice us, to see our accomplishments in order to be admired. Although some people are not internally boasting as they do these things, some are. They walk away with the proud feeling that stroked their ego. They plot a strategic plan to somehow be within the spotlight immediately after their last win.
Don’t get me wrong, I have certainly done the same. It is a difficult thing to not do within our society. It is difficult within this fallen flesh. Our sinful desires are always at the surface, ready to strike. I have a huge problem with not picking churches apart. I point out just how sinful the practices are within them, how pride and division ruins the very idea of coming together as a body within their walls, and I get very upset because of the institutionalized, organized, westernized concepts of these glorified social clubs. I just know too much history to think any other way. At the same time, I know that there are many great people within them. My humbleness is not strong when it comes to the church. I believe the frustration that I experience is because of the unbiblical abuse of our Lord and His people that takes place within the walls, and the competition there is in a disheartening league of its own. Am I practicing humility? I don’t know sometimes? Discernment, perhaps? Pride still plays a part.
We all have those things within our lives that we compete for, the things that emphasize the pride that we individually possess, and our humbleness is sometimes truant. We know what we are supposed to do, but do not. We see the results of our ineptness, but do we give it a second thought?
As I write, and sometimes see that mine is not nearly as good as the next person’s, I will remember that it is not a competition. As my kid plays ball, I will observe him and see if the fame starts to go to his head. When I look at the abusive church, I will love His children. As I look at the system, I will remember that we live in a fallen world, ran by fallen people. The goal today, is to remain humble.
Philippians 2:3-11 (ESV)
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.