It was a hundred and eight in the shade or so it seemed. If it wasn’t, it was close. The Haitian sun was beating down on us. In the poorest part of the world that my eyes have ever seen, I stood there with two huge, muscular Haitians who did this for a living. Without mixing machines for concrete, they manually mixed the concrete to get it ready to poor. My high school youth group was on a mission trip and we were laying down a foundation for a new pig farm. I was chosen to work with the concrete mixers. From sun up to sundown, we used shovels to mix the sand, water, and concrete mix. We would take turns walking to a well and carrying large buckets of water on our shoulder back to the hole where we were mixing everything. I found out they would work all day long and make enough to buy a loaf of bread.
I thought back to my easy life in Hereford, Texas. I had never thought of myself as spoiled or indulgent, but my perspective changed over these several days mixing concrete.
This experience was life-changing, to say the least, and there was much more to the trip, but one thing that it did was to humble me. I saw how these men worked for their family. I began to look at my own parents differently noticing everything they did for me. I had been somewhat entitled like many American teenagers, but I was determined to not be so anymore.
My parents, youth pastor, teachers, and coaches were elevated in my estimation because I saw more clearly how much they were doing for others. This was especially true of my own parents. When we humble ourselves, we make a greater difference in people’s lives. This is the lesson we have from Christ. He humbled Himself to a servant willing to die on a thief’s death so that whosoever believes in Him might have everlasting life. How much more of a difference could we make on this Earth if we lived in humility. And that brings us to our Verse of the Day:
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves
When we do live in vain conceit trying to always puff ourselves up in the eyes of others, it has the opposite effect. Our motives are easily identified and they are selfish. But when we live as Christ did, in humility, serving mankind, people are moved by our kindness. Of course, we can have false humility as well where we mimic the traits of humility but for selfish reasons. But when we truly humble ourselves treating everyone above ourselves, their hearts melt for us. And the Lord will exalt us to higher places so that we might have greater influence. He knows then, because of our humble lifestyle, that He can trust us not to become conceited with greater influence with others. The Bible says that God exalted Christ to the highest place, not because He was the Son of God, but because He humbled Himself (Philippians 2:8-9).
The best part of making the effort to humble ourselves is that it relieves the pressure to be something to people. We undo the stress of always needing to impress people. We no longer worry if people like us or think highly of us because that is not the goal of a humble spirit. A humble spirit lives on the bread of service, always putting others above themselves. A humble spirit will transform every relationship from your marriage to co-workers.
Lastly, I will say that we must humble ourselves (James 4:10). Sure the Lord will put before us very difficult situations attempting to get us to accept that we are not as powerful, as wonderful, as perfect as we think we are. But even then, it is a decision we must make. It is an attitude that we must willfully accept and discipline ourselves to remain.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
How hard is it to put others above ourselves? What has helped you to do this? Where have you struggled?
Leave me a comment and let’s grow together.