The Grace of Humility
The Grace of Humility
What shall we be? Who shall we become? What will be the new normal for FPU as we consider all the exogenous factors that will influence the future of our society? Most of us have ignored the sayings of Jesus concerning the signs of the future. We want to be optimistic, but will we be prepared for a predictable future? We are educators whose call is to investigate the future and nurture faith, courage and skills in our students to prepare for a world fraught with chaos.
Our natural inclination is to ignore the signs of the future because they invite fear and frustration. We ignored global warming for decades and look where we are now. We ignored the seriousness of the pandemic and look at how many lives it has captured worldwide. We have become so consumed with our daily lives that we lose track of the over 82.4 million individuals forcibly displaced as refugees around the world (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees). We become numbed to the magnitude of famine, natural disasters, violence and death on other continents, which are now global norms. Even in the church we find ourselves divided over earthly opinions, forgetting that the testimony of Jesus is alive by our witness for loving one another as he loves us.
Jesus cited these things as the birth pains to his return, warning us that these events will grow in intensity (Matt. 24, Mark 13). Knowing this, what kind of university shall we become? What should our new normal look like over the five campuses we serve? How are we to respond as a community of Christian educators in the midst of so much sorrow, confusion and destruction. The answer is the same as it has always been—through the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our whole duty is to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves. Both require the courage of humility.
These times tempt us to be quiet for fear of offense. To accommodate and compromise to be accepted by those we serve. Jesus says “come and learn from me. Take my yoke upon you, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light. For I am kind, gentle and humble.” Let us not mistake fear for humility. True humility is strong to stand, and strong to serve. It is not a sign of weakness, but a characteristic of the living Christ and those who choose to follow him.
Thomas Kempis said: “God walks with the humble; he reveals himself to the lowly; he gives understanding to the little ones; he discloses his meaning to pure minds, but he hides his grace from the curious and the proud.”
If we are to prepare our students for the future, we must be intentional about modeling a godly humility that reflects the life of Christ. As a community that thrives on rhetoric, thought and scholarship, we must live out God’s word in service to one another and our students. Giving thought to the future may not be comfortable for many of us, but for those who really believe the words of Jesus, we can anticipate wisdom and guidance to provide an environment that honors his name. As we prepare for the fall, let us humble ourselves in service to one another so that the life of Christ can be continually manifested on each of our campuses.