In order for us to be effective followers, practitioners and proclaimers of Christ, humility must mark our lives. If we are not careful to maintain an attitude of humility in our lives, then Jesus Christ is slowly, consciously or unconsciously, pushed from His rightful place in the center. When we look at the life of John the Baptist, we discover two keys to the humble life.
When the crowds began to press John concerning his identity, he confessed freely, "I am not the Christ." The first key to a humble life is to know who I am not. I am not all-knowing. I am not all-powerful. And I am not everywhere at once.
It seems asinine that anyone would think those things about themselves, but these thoughts steadily creep into our character all the time. They are evident when we try to act as the fountain of information when we should say, "I don't know."
It's evident when we act as if a project or task or relationship is successful based upon our talent or influence. It's evident when we over-schedule ourselves, believing that if we are not there than it won't get done. But when we recognize who we are not, we pave the way for humility in our lives.
The second key to a humble life requires knowing who you are. John the Baptist made several statements about who he was.
He said, "I am the voice of one calling in the desert, 'Make straight the way for the Lord,'" and, "I baptize with water."
The first step is to recognize where you fall short, but the second step acknowledges that God has a plan and purpose for your life. Really, it means recognizing the part that you play in God's eternal epic.
John the Baptist's life of humility can be summed up in one simple statement, "He must increase, but I must decrease."
Humility is about perspective. When I am humble I know who God is and what He is doing, and I know who I am and how I fit into God's plan.
The church is most powerful when the pews are filled with humble people, and humble Christians are the catalyst that transforms society.
Jesus said, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."
I wonder if humble people inherit the earth because they are the ones who make it what God desires it to be. Together, let's endeavor to make humility the hallmark of our lives.
• Jacob Musselman is with Capital Christian Center and is a member of the Carson City Ministerial Fellowship.