Humility – Oct 14

"Humble yourselves..." 1 Peter 5:6

It's Thursday and I'm sitting in the Fuller Seminary Youth Institute "Sticky Faith Cohort", a gathering of pastors and youth pastors from twelve churches across the country who desire to make faith stick in the lives of adolescents. This morning Scott Cormode, professor of leadership, talked about leading change and the conflict that often comes with change. He acknowledged that in any conflict there are competing commitments or values that frame the conflict.

In conflict situations rarely are two people bad people who want the worst for each other, and usually conflicts involve good people who want the best. In the church, one person might value nurturing those who are already in the church, another values reaching out to the community. Both are good values, and we can assume both people have good motives. Humility means I'm willing to acknowledge my own agenda or my own commitments that might be in conflict with someone else's agenda or commitment.

Conflict can also arise when we don't live out what we value. For example, I tell you that hospitality is important to me, but I leave my office door shut. Humility recognizes that my stated values are not always the values I live by, and we see it much more clearly in others! We judge ourselves by our intentions (what I wanted to do) but I just others by their actions (what they actually did). Humility says I acknowledge my own failure in being the person I want to be, and I give grace to my brother or sister who may not be perfect either.

It's only when we come with humility to the conflict with another that we can get past the conflict and find a solution that moves us forward. We think the best of each other and give each other grace and understanding.

It's hard work, but necessary work since we belong to each other and we want to become humble like Jesus.


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