Keith and Karen Hillstrom | The Voice of Zion March 2022 - Home and Family Article --
When considering the topic of humility, we first paused over the meaning of this word. The first Sunday in Advent carries the theme, “Our King Comes in Humility.” This is when we hear how Christ entered Jerusalem on a lowly donkey, not on a grand horse as we would expect a king to enter. Christ, the Prince of Peace, is also a model of humility.
Humility means humbleness; a modest view of one’s own importance. It does not mean low self-esteem, but rather that one would see their worth in the broad view of all of God’s creation.
A person might humble themselves to acknowledge they are not always right. They are good listeners, admit they don’t know everything and are willing to learn from others. Humility allows us to acknowledge that God is the Giver of all gifts and He deserves all praise.
Humility Is Recognizing God’s power
In our life of faith, we find that humility connects to recognizing God’s great power over us. We submit to His will. We are small, unworthy, powerless beings. We believe God is our Creator and He directs and guides our lives.
All our personalities are different. We all have trials in life, and arrogance may be a trial for some, while many people seem to be naturally humble. Still when we think about it, how can we ever know another person’s feelings? One might have the appearance of being proud or arrogant yet be truly down-to-earth. Another may act humble in speech and demeanor yet cannot see that he or she needs God’s grace and forgiveness. God knows our hearts.
I, Karen, have had lessons in humility through trials in life. Fifteen years ago, I learned I had a degenerative eye disease and was slowly losing my vision. While I am thankful I am still able to care for my family, there are many tasks I am now unable to do. Needing to ask for help humbles a person. This experience, however, has also made me more thankful. I’ve learned to appreciate the important things in life, and worry less about the small, unimportant, materialistic things. I’ve learned I must turn to God in prayer for strength and lean on those around me for help.
It is important to teach our children humility. This lesson may be taught better by our actions rather than with words. Nevertheless, we worry whether we are setting a good example for our children. Admitting our mistakes, confessing our sins, and seeking forgiveness are valuable lessons in humility for our children. Often, that’s all we can do.
We have also learned that having a large family can be humbling. Every child is different, and when we think we have all the parenting answers, we’re given a new and different challenge. With each child comes an increased awareness of how little we know as parents. Also, we as parents feel personal responsibility or even embarrassment if our child makes a poor decision. With a large family, it may be apparent to others that there isn’t money for a fancy house, new cars, or extravagant vacations. These facets of life can remind us along with our children what truly matters in this lifetime.
Small, Humble and At Peace
We feel God’s greatness amid nature. As we admire God’s creation and see how large this world is, we feel small and humble. Acknowledging that God is in control of our lives can make us feel at peace. As humans, we tend to worry about our future and the future of our children and grandchildren. Praying to God and placing our trust in Him takes this worry away. When we are able to trust that God will take care of us, it is easier to be humble and thankful. We have a good God and we are blessed to be part of His loving kingdom.
Lessons in Humility
Maaret Petaisto | The Voice of Zion May 2022 - Home and Family Article --
I feel that in many ways the world is at odds with humility. There has been a “Be bold, be brave, be confident” movement over half of my life. While it may be a useful lesson to be appropriately assertive especially when learning a new skill or when facing a challenge, we want to remember that loving our neighbor requires us to be at their level and approachable, not better or worse. As a teacher, I am ever conscious of how people are treated and how societal jargon may impact behaviors. As an individual, I want to maintain my friendships in a constructive and positive way. As a believer, I wish to endeavor in childlike faith, with humility.
I recently moved and gained employment with a very large urban school district in Minnesota. In the initial educator training in August, most everyone introduced themselves with a statement about how they work with students and strive to help students of color succeed in school. When it came my turn to speak, I simply stated my truth: “I have only worked with students who are white like myself and with Latino students, so I don’t have much experience with every background, such as Black students and other people of color. However, by nature, I am down-to-earth. I want to respect and know more about other people.”
I have learned in the months of working in Brooklyn Park that both the toughest and shyest kids need me to make eye contact, remember their names, and occasionally give hugs. I am least effective as a teacher when I approach a volatile situation with boldness and bossiness. I have found that humbleness and calm have an incredible ability to diffuse angry outbursts.
As someone who has social anxiety, I approach most initial interactions with humility, bordering on a feeling of inefficacy. My current treatment has allowed me to accept who I am, and I spend less time overthinking my social interactions. God has granted me parents, siblings, and close friends who support my anxious nature. I have learned that every single person I have met has their own trials.
It takes a lot of courage to speak up about mental health and speaking about it puts me in a place of humility. My personal growth has started with being comfortable with my own vulnerability. As I share my mental health situation, I hope that my own openness might help other believers to accept others for who they are. I pray that those struggling with anxiety and depression find peace. It is not meant that we carry our burdens alone. Maybe my trials draw me closer to God; they certainly provide a lesson in humility.
A minister recently preached in a sermon about wanting to be humble because when we are meek we need our Savior the most. He explained further that proud people may not feel that they need to be helped. It is through God’s grace that we can remain believing. James 4:6 says, “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” The Bible tells about many believers, like Job, who experienced insurmountable losses and trials. Maybe trials kept those believers of long ago on the pathway to heaven.
When Jesus was on earth, He healed the sick and weary. Jesus told us that the greatest in the kingdom of God is a little child. Hymn 301 in Songs and Hymns of Zion scribes: “O dear Redeemer, King of Grace, You lead the weak to heaven. The gospel keeps them on Your Way; their sins are all forgiven. With patience and humility Your mercy guides with charity, persuading them with kindness.” The message of the world is to be loud and proud of who you are. The message in God’s Kingdom is to remain as a grace beggar. Don’t be ashamed to be humble and kind, and don’t be ashamed of the gospel.
Share a life experience that has taught you about humility.
The balance between self-esteem and humility seems elusive. How can we manage this on a personal level?
How does this balance parallel the paradox of being entirely sinful yet righteous simultaneously?
There is a saying, “Humility: as soon as you think you got it, you lost it.” How does this reflect a believer’s life?