If you look back into your lifetime or into the entire annals of human history, you would be hard-pressed to find a more self-indulgent and self-obsessed culture than the current society in which you and I currently both inhabit. It is not my intent to start off this post with a such a seemingly negative and pessimistic statement, but it is a statement, for better or worse, that holds a lot of truth.
In 2 Timothy 3:1-5 we are given a description of how people will conduct themselves during the last days:
“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”
Does this sound like an accurate description of how many people live their lives in today’s society? Whether you believe in Biblical prophecy or not, it is hard to deny the fact that many people and cultures fall into these categories.
Technology has allowed every person to create and indulge into a medium in which they can share and project their own personal beliefs, opinions, fears, joys, hate and love to thousands upon thousands of people and followers across the entire world. Many people have learned to place and find personal value/self-worth based on the number of likes and followers they achieve on social media.
I am by no means bashing social media, technology and/or the internet, I am both a fan and a user of all three, I am merely trying to illustrate an example of how we have transformed into a self-indulgent society that relies and thrives off of instant gratification and validation.
It’s important to note that human beings for the most part have to overcome a natural inclination towards selfishness. How many times have you heard a baby or young child sternly use the phrase “mine!”, only to be scolded by his or her guardian? Sharing and selflessness are both characteristics that have to be developed and learned in most people, and unfortunately some people never quite get the hang of these valuable skills in their lifetime, I’m sure you could name at least one such person.
One of the many things that both struck and shocked me when reading the New Testament was the humbleness and humility that Jesus displayed after performing several of his healing miracles. For example, in Matthew 9:31 after Jesus healed the two blind men, He ordered the men to “See that no knows about it.”.
Despite Christ’s stern command to keep the miracle a secret, the blind men went out proclaimed what Jesus had done for them. And who can blame them? But it is in Jesus’ desire to keep his miracles a secret that we can find one of Christ’s many great examples of how to live a humble life for the greater good/purpose.
Jesus just could have easily told any of the numerous afflicted people who He healed to go out and tell everyone that they knew to spread the word of what He had done for them, but Christ knew that would ultimately detract and hinder his goal and message. A little humbleness and humility can go a long way in the long run.
Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with sharing and being proud of your own personal accomplishments and achievements, God blessed each and every one of us with gifts to achieve great things in this world, but when pride turns into boasting and ungratefulness, we now begin to have a problem.
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” – Proverbs 16:18
“One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.” – Proverbs 29:23
Like most concepts in Christianity, humility is not a hard or complicated concept to grasp, but is also a concept that can be lost or forgotten in its simplicity. For some people, they cannot be humbled until they have suffered or lost the things and/or people that they were once proud and boastful of.
I encourage myself and everyone to practice developing that Christ-like voice inside your head that warns and deters you from making haughty boasts, comments, and posts. By beginning to practice and living your life in such a humble way, you can create a more peaceful and beneficial existence, not only for yourself, but for others as well.