Sunday, 22 September 2013

Working on your Character: Humility

Humility: Humility according to the Oxford Advanced dictionary is the quality of not thinking that you are better than other people, the quality of being humble. 

On my previous blog “Handling Temptation” I touch based a little on the state of remaining humble in all your achievements. I have to admit, being humble is not at all easy for most of us. We were taught to show off our accomplishments, we were taught to never let anyone trample on our heads, we were taught so many things that are contradictory to God’s ways.  (Humble yourself before the Lord and He will lift you up! James4:10).
When you accept Jesus in your life He sends down the sweet Holy Spirit who changes your mind set. Well, it’s not enough to change only the mind set, but he changes your heart where all pride and wickedness dwells. Some time back I had a heated argument with a cashier at “Treats” a store here on campus and ever since that day, I harbored so much bitterness towards the cashier and the shop itself. Every time I would pass with my head faced on the other direction, so disgusted by the side of this lady. I realize that usually when I’m stressed I snap a lot at people but anyway this is what caused the argument: I got into the shop and stood on what appeared as a line. So I’m thinking to myself that this cashier is busy helping the person in front of me only to see her helping other people who came by and continued chatting with her friend in front of me. After a while she said rudely, “Sister, can you be helped?” I told her what I wanted putting the money on the counter. And then she said, “I’m the one selling to you; you must give the money on my hand!” Immediately, I busted out saying, “I will put the money wherever I want to put it!” So that turned into a big argument and I was fuming. I felt that she is a typical cashier, I am a customer in the University, she is under my mercy, and she must apologize for doing me wrong! After a while she kept quiet while I kept blabbering telling the owner of the store how rude that woman is, every customer in the shop looked at me and giggled as I made a fool out of myself. When I walked back to my place I felt the Holy Spirit saying to me, “If everyone in that shop had to read your blogs, would they think that you’re the same person who wrote all that?” If they saw you lift your hands in the church, would they still think that you’re the same person? (Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessings and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. James3:10).

I’m not going to wear any Christian band, or place bible verses all over my room, if I’m not going to be humble. I mean, it’s pointless?

A few days ago after such a long time with battling with anger and bitterness towards the woman I told myself that I’m going to go into that store, and humbly buy from that lady, and I mean giving the money right into her hand where she wants it. She was busy singing, looking all busy, while I just looked at her with no emotions of anger. I said, I’d rather look like a fool and humble myself but I’m not going to carry bitterness all my life because of a single incidence that could be solved. I might feel like she’s of lower class compared to me but to God we are all the same. Humility is the quality of not thinking that you are better than other people. Have you seen how when you need somebody’s help they make you feel so inferior? Or rather, have you noticed how you make other people feel so inferior when they need your help? That is not a good state to be in. One day I was walking back from school and this garden man kept hollering at me. I was really annoyed and just rudely asked him what he wants. Humbly he told me to lift my bag up because I was dragging it on the dusty road. I said to God, I’m sorry for being so rude. Please teach me how to treat people better. Whether they are garden men, or cleaners, of a lower creed, not seeming as spiritually mature, but Lord just help me to treat people better. (Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. 1Peter5:6)

While chilling with my housemates during the poitjiekos and fire, one of my housemates asked me to pass him the vodka that they were drinking. I just felt the need to just start telling everybody how I don’t pass people alcohol, and how I don’t drink alcohol anymore and how much I’ve changed. One of my housemate’s friends who saw me at that “Big Party” (That actually led to my salvation and me starting this blog) last year while still staying in Brandwag laughed saying, “Really? You? Changed? Do you remember that party?” It felt as if I was boasting about my self- righteousness in the midst of people drinking, I mean the world will always perceive your testimony in a wrong way. Sometimes the best thing is to be still. Stop being a blabbermouth about how much you’ve changed or how you no more do certain things, but allow people to see that change in you. (Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity. 1Timothy4:12). People will only see the change through how you conduct yourself and not through your announcements!

A few days after the poitjiekos event, I get a text message from a housemate who hosted the whole thing telling me that she wants 30rands for the plate of food I ate. I was quite perplexed because I did not know there was a fee involved and since she came personally to me while I was busy studying, I thought she just did it out of the goodness of her heart. I went around asking all my housemates if they were also told to take out money for the food they ate, and nope, even to this day, they don’t know anything about contributing any money. I don’t know the reason why they wanted money from me alone, perhaps it's because I left for my room early that day, or because I wanted seconds…I don’t know but it kind of hurts. I felt like she is just taking advantage of me, playing on my head because she knows that I’m Christian. But yeah hey, that’s what Christianity is all about. (We are fools for Christ…When we are cursed, we bless. When we are persecuted, we endure it. When we are slandered, we answer kindly. See 1Corinthians4:11-13).

Conversation between my housemate and I. Its amazing how people solve disagreements with violence and anger!

My housemate got quite upset when I wanted to find out why she didn’t let us know beforehand that we had to contribute money. I went around room to room trying to find out if people were told to take out money, and then I just felt this sense of the Holy Spirit saying to me…”Shh be still and know that I am God.” Humble yourself and stop going room to room trying to solve things that you know nothing about, just take out the money and keep the peace. I will fight your battles for you. They might think that you’re a fool now, but one day they’re going to look back at your humility and perhaps get drawn closer to the Lord.(God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. James4:6)

Humility is the quality of being humble. Be humble in your achievements. Be humble in how you treat others who seem less spiritually mature than you are. Be humble in how you treat the homeless people on the streets that seem like they are under your mercy. Be humble in how you respond to people’s attacks and their compliments. Be humble by the side of the Lord, and he alone will lift you up. 

The attitude you should have is the one that Christ Jesus had: He always had the nature of God, but he did not think that by force he should try to remain equal with God.Instead of this, of his own free will he gave up all he had, and took the nature of a servant.He became like a human being and appeared in human likeness. He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to death— his death on the cross.~Phillipians2:5-8

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