There’s an old Jewish joke I’ve learned recently and it is a beautiful analogy for human nature. At synagogue one Sabbath, a community of Jewish believers has assembled to worship and a wealthy businessman speaks up. “Oh, Lord,” he says, beating his chest and lowering his eyes, “I am nothing, less than nothing, unworthy of your notice. All my riches are empty and I myself am nothing” The Rabbi speaks, “I am nothing,” he says, “All my knowledge and my wisdom are nothing. Aside from you, Lord, I have nothing.” Then a poor man speaks up. “I also am nothing.” The rich man goes to the Rabbi. “Something must be done. How can he claim he is nothing like us?”

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.

James 3:13

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

1 Chronicles 7:14

Humility is not something that can be stated or claimed; it is a posture of the spirit which is evidenced by the outward actions that are a result of that inclination.

It is not humiliation that is powerful and a sign of moral uprightness and virtue but humility. Humiliation and the victim status may be powerful social tools but they are not points to be collected on the way to filling out a BINGO card for heaven! Humility discards even the social currency of humiliation in place of simple acceptance of God’s will.

Ethan Kirl