I want to state for the record that I, Kaitlyn Stephens, am in no way qualified to write about humility. But then again, who of us truly is? If you think you are then you probably want to stop reading right about.... now.
From 2006 to 2014 I was nauseatingly full of myself. Four years at a private Christian University that was paid for by money left to me by my late Grammy probably didn't help the cocktail that quickly became, 'The Kaitlyn Show'. My middle name might as well have been changed from Kaitlyn to Arrogance.
After college, I landed a decent job and quickly began to the climb the corporate ladder within the fashion jewelry business. Oh yea, I was so cool. Worked for a cool start-up out of NYC with my own home office, had a nice title, decent pay, new clothes, free jewelry, notoriety amongst colleagues and our client base. This was the life!
When the accolades came I was quick to accept and graciously deflect the praise. I couldn't seem too eager for it, after all. Recalling my Jeannine (Grandma #3), doting on me, "Oh sweetheart, we're just so proud of you!" I would bat my lashes and smile and say, "oh, it's not that big of a deal."
Then I'd go home and with an inflated sense of self-worth. Soon, I began to crave more than verbal accolades. I needed it in a pay check. When the paycheck wouldn't subdue my fleshly desire, i sought worth in relationships. If I had enough people telling me good things about me, enough money in the bank account and enough people surrounding me and looking to me than I'd be happy. Then I'd be successful. Then God would be proud of me.
'Look at me God. Look at what I can do! Do you love me more now? I did this all for YOU!'
This, my friends, is what I call walking in FALSE HUMILITY. And frankly it was ugly and unbecoming. Who was I? The humility I was displaying wasn't true, biblical humility. In no way was I free from pride or arrogance. It was a me-centric way of looking at the price Jesus paid on the cross and turning it into what I could do for him. It literally made NO sense.
Looking back, despite my Christian University schooling, I was bankrupt when it came to knowing who I was in Christ. Moreover, I was oblivious to who Christ was and the gravity of the price He paid on that cross.
He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death on the cross. Philippians 2:8
Beaten, stripped, mocked and hanging on a cross, Jesus lived out the ultimate example of humility. And yet, hung between two criminals, He continues to praise His Father in Heaven.
To say that I’ve fully surrendered my pride would be a lie. It’s a daily struggle to lay down my selfish pride to want to be ‘successful’ or ‘the best’ and to take off my proverbial crown and lay it at the feet of Jesus. He paid the ultimate sacrifice and He is the one who saved me from my own depravity.
The more we, you and me, train our tongues and thoughts to give honor to He who is truly worthy, the more we'll begin to experience true humility. Being free of pride and arrogance and growing in grace and truth knowing that we are inadequate yet standing firm in the belief that we are all bought with a precious price as a son or daughter of the King.
- Describe your personal struggle with humility.
- How do you define biblical Humility?
- Journal a prayer/letter to Jesus asking the Holy Spirit to help you understand the Bible's message about humility. Declare victory over false humility and proclaim truths over your life; that you may be a walking testimony to Jesus' ultimate act of humility.