Jess Macivor on humility: action vs attitude

19 Jan

Another great guest blog on humility, written partly in response to this week’s God52 challenge. In this post, theology student Jess Macivor focuses on the connection between humility and contentment.

jess mcivorHumility is something that I thought I had fairly well sussed.  For several years now I’ve been immersed in volunteering with my school (now university), church, and local community. I am terrible at accepting praise or compliments. Despite appearing humble by my actions, I found that my attitude often erred.

Several years ago I started volunteering as a steward at Soul Survivor, a well-known Christian youth festival. At times stewarding, (with tasks such as litter picking) can force humility, or at least you’d think so. The festival is run by a large network of wonderful volunteers, but we’re human. As humans, it’s easy to get consumed with position rather than the purpose. When I started stewarding it was all about being servant-hearted and giving glory to God; however, at times I let the affirmation of my peers become more important than my motivation for being there. I let myself become bigger than God.

In 2012 I was faced with a potentially big health scare, which could have made me physically unable to steward in the future.  I love volunteering with Soul Survivor, and the thought that I might become unable to was deeply upsetting. Humility requires us to be content where we are, submitting to God’s plan rather than our own… I realised that I wasn’t very content with the idea of waiting on God. As distressing this process was, it re-focused me on God. Working for Him isn’t about what you do but whom you do it for. I found myself being humbled in light of God, who deserves more credit than me… always. God won’t put me in a position where he can’t use me for his glory, but I must remember that the glory is His, not mine. Ultimately it’s not about us at all.

Humility is more than just counter-cultural actions; it’s also about counter-cultural attitudes. With this week’s challenge in mind I would ask that you let it be about God; let it be about humbling yourself as Jesus humbled himself;  and if any credit is to be given, make sure it goes to God.

Jess Macivor is studying Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Chichester. She tries to blog at theologybyjess.blogspot.com and tweets far more frequently at @Jess_Macivor.

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One Response to “Jess Macivor on humility: action vs attitude”

  1. Robin February 21, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

    Thank you very much for these words. I have been trying to prepare a sermon on the difference between satisfied and content. And on my way in this morning, I just caught a small portion of a sermon on the radio about humility and it just hit me that you cannot be content without being humble. Your article is the only thing so far I have been able to find that puts the two together.

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