“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2 NIV
Where I work this is not an option. I am a caregiver and I work with a woman who is cognitively disabled and has autism. I also have a sister with autism who is physically and cognitively disabled. Because neither one can talk, if I am not compassionate and aware, I could miss something potentially serious like a seizure or an infection. For me, being humble has saved my life many times because God only listens to the prayers of those who humble themselves before Him.
I think people today are stressed and angry. I notice this when I’m on the road. I like to go the speed limit when I drive. Sometimes I speed but it’s usually only when I’m not paying attention to it. Almost every time I drive, someone will ride my bumper and try to push me into going faster. I really don’t understand this behavior. It’s very intimidating and disturbing to see that someone is willing to rear-end me in an accident just because I won’t speed. It doesn’t make me go any faster and if I do slam on my brakes and we get in an accident they will be at fault for riding my bumper.
When you’re stressed or angry you push God away. You push everyone away for that matter. Did you ever wonder how you get stressed and angry? It all starts with self talk. When you focus on things that make you mad like unfairness or any situation where you feel slighted your mind will wander into negative moods and stress. If you meditate on ways people have hurt you you will get in a bad mood. So don’t do that. Stay positive and meditate on ways you can resolve the situation; if it can’t be resolved think about something that makes you happy. You are in charge of your thoughts. Don’t let your mind be hijacked by the devil so that you lose your peace. Animals are really good at this. When they get mad they rebuke their attacker then shake it off. They don’t sit there and stew over something then bite off the first head that comes near them. They don’t pass aggression onto unrelated events or people.
I think it is important to focus on the gentle component of the above bible verse. It is not OK to think about ways to get revenge on someone or something through violence. Jesus never used violence and I believe he wants us to follow in his example. When the military came to seize Jesus and one of the disciples cut off someone’s ear, Jesus healed it. If you like violent video games and aggressive, violent television consider changing your habits. Humans tend to mimic what they see on TV or video games. Children are especially vulnerable to picking up violent behavior from watching TV. Violence is never OK. By watching it on TV you are allowing it into your paradigm of acceptable behavior. Non-violence is the only way to change anything. For instance, look at Ghandi who changed so much through peaceful protest and hunger strikes.
Jesus also wants us to be humble and to maintain a soft heart that is responsive to God’s leading. The bible verses about humility are plentiful. Here are a couple:
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up,” (James 4:10 NIV). 2 Samuel 28:22 says, “You save the humble, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low.” Why does God value humility so much? He is an awesome and mighty God. Humility is the only posture we can assume that is proper and fitting in His presence. Jesus although equal to God humbled himself to be lower than the angels in order to save us. In order to save us, God became like us, fully God yet fully human and faced all the temptations we are prone to yet did not sin. In this way He overcame the world (Philippians 2:8).