Social media has given us a venue to air our inner thoughts. The platform given to us is neither negative nor positive. It’s how we use it is what makes the difference.

Recently, someone coined a term I came across with – “humblebrag”.
An Urban Dictionary defines it as “when you, consciously, try to get away with bragging about yourself by couching it in a phony show of humility.”

A few true to life examples include:

“Flying first class isn’t all that it’s cut out to be when you smell the toilet”

“Will Twitter be available for me in Paris, Milan, or the Maldives? I hope so because it won’t in Hong Kong or Singapore.”

“It always feels a little odd to me when I get recognized randomly in public. I never know what to say. I’m glad it doesn’t happen often.”

“I just did something very selfless. But more importantly, it was genuine and I know it means a lot to the person in the long run. #soworthit ”

Forbes.com tells us that it doesn’t work during job interviews.
A Harvard study confirms why it really doesn’t work.
And The Huffington Post tells us why it’s annoying.

How do we avoid it?
We have to first admit the temptation for everyone (including myself) to do it.

Secondly, to the guilty (again including myself), we have to admit we’ve done it.

Thirdly, let’s remember what we are told in Philippians 2:3.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”
Wow. I know that’s tough.

But when we go back to the gospel, which Paul does in the following verses, we realize 2 things.

1. We have an example in Christ – who by very nature God Himself, humbled himself by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. He is our peg.

2. But more than an example, he empowers us to be able to do what He did. When we embrace the truth of what He has done: He paid a debt He did not owe because we owed a debt we couldn’t pay. As a result, we can be redeemed from sin and self. Wicked and flawed we may be but loved and accepted we truly are.

This, as we are daily reminded, will ground us in reality that there is nothing we can be boastful about for all we have, all we are and all that we hope to achieve is only by the grace of God.

 

I’m really not a Spurs fan but watching them play is fascinating.
(By the way, I’m not a sports analyst so don’t consider this as a Finals analysis of some sort. :))

Here are a few lessons I’ve gleaned from watching them play.

1. HUMILITY

You don’t see finger pointing, muscle flexing or raising the roof type of reaction after a play.

Coach Pop has been able to harness skill and at the same time temper any ego that might flare up.

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2)

2. TEAMWORK

Since Tim Duncan 17 years ago, they have had no first round draft pick.

Manu Ginobili was pick no. 55.
Patty Mills was pick number 55.
Danny Green was pick number 46.
Tony Parker was pick number 26.
Kawhi Leonard was pick number 15 and then traded by Indiana Pacers.

No superstars and yet when they come together, they make beautiful music like an orchestra.

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. (Ecc. 4:9)
But now there are many members, yet but one body. (1 Cor. 12:20)

This teamwork has been fueled by loyalty. You see players who have stayed with the team for years and years. They’ve built the team from ground up and not bought contracts of superstars from other teams.

3. FOCUS

Because humility and teamwork were in play, focus was on the right direction – not towards self or even on one guy.
It doesn’t matter who gets the credit as long as the job gets done.

Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. (Proverbs 4:25)

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE SAN ANTONIO SPURS.

PS. Feel free to add to the list of lessons learned in the comments section below if you wish.

Humility is an interesting trait.

Once you claim you have it, you’ve actually lost it.

Some have an aversion to this trait.

Number 1, it is because we all have an “I” problem. We all struggle with pride in some shape or form. Admit it.

If you don’t agree, consider this. Notice who you usually look at first when there’s a group picture with you in it.

Another reason is that humility may be perceived as weak, insignificant, and subservient. We live in a world that wants to dominate. And being humble may look as if you are not in control.

In John 13, Jesus exemplifies servant leadership. This is where we see humility at its finest.

What made Jesus an amazing leader?

1. CLARITY OF PURPOSE

Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. (John 13:1)

It was clear to Him why He came and who He came for.

He made a declaration to His disciples, “I came not to be served but to serve and give my life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28)

When a leader is clear on the purpose of his leadership, the focus is then taken off from self.

It doesn’t become about you. The goal is to serve the purpose.

It doesn’t matter who gets the credit as long as the job gets done.

2. CONFIDENCE IN IDENTITY

Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God. (John 13:3)

Jesus had all power and all authority.

Because He knew who He was, there was no pressure to prove Himself.

Insecure leaders are usually people who don’t know who they are called to be and what they are designed to do.

Jesus was secure in His identity. He knew who He was.

It is identity that establishes security.

I love what C.S. Lewis said,
“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.”

Lord, help us to lead with a clear purpose and being confident in our identity in Christ.

I had a thought this morning.

OUR POSTURE WILL DETERMINE OUR POSITION.

James 4:6 says that “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

In short, I want grace not opposition from God.

How do we see this humility in the day to day?

1. HUMILITY BEFORE GOD.

When we achieve a certain measure of growth and success, we begin to trust in our experience, achievements and sheer talent.

Experience. “We’ve been doing this for many years. I know what I am doing.”
Achievements. “We’ve had momentum for some time now. I don’t think it will ever change.”
Talent. “We got here doing this my way. I think we’re on the right track.”

Daniel 4 tells us the story of King Nebuchadnezzar. His arrogance got him in trouble. He said, “Is this not the great Babylon I have built by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?” As a result, God took away his authority and made him live like an animal.

We may not articulate it, but possibly act it.

2. HUMILITY BEFORE MEN.

I’d wager that many a conflict is solvable with humility.
There are a lot of disagreements and arguments that continue and graduate to bigger conflicts because of lack of humility.

We are where we are today primarily because of what God has done.

Our posture will determine our practice.

Remember, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

I’m not talking about pastors who have officiated weddings of celebrities.

I’m actually referring to ministers who have risen to ‘rockstar’ status. It no longer has become about the gospel, or the kingdom but about themselves.

It’s their pictures on every brochure, name on every flyer and presence in every event. It has become all about them.
They walk around with assistants, ready to serve at their beck and call.
They’re first at every line, eat the best of the lechon (haha) and sit at every front seat.

Daniel Borstin tautologically defines it as “a person who is known for his well-knownness.”

In his book, “The Image“, he further describes the celebrity – “A sign of celebrity is that his name is often worth more than his services.”

I really hate to admit it but this is a real temptation and a potential trap.

But when I can feel the temptation coming down on me, there are a few questions I try to ask myself:

1. Whose example am I following?

Jesus came humbly and unannounced except to a few wise men and a bunch of shepherds. If that was me, I’d tweet, Facebook and call for a press conference.

But not Jesus…

He said, “That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not be served.” (Matthew 20:28, MSG)

Are we following the example of our common day rockstar or Jesus?

 

2. Who don’t I want opposing me?

Peter wrote, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5)

If there’s was one i DON’T want opposing me is God.

I’d rather have my friend, co-worker, even family opposing me… but not God.

 

3. Who am I trying to please?

Starting out with the intention to please God is easy. But staying in that route necessitates being deliberate. At a certain point, applause of men becomes more important than the applause of heaven.

Paul told the church in Galatia, “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10)

Just a few questions to help me remember…

What do you do when you’ve offended somebody?

The Bible tells us a story of what Abigail did on behalf of her family.

They offended King David.

This was their response.

 

1. HUMBLE YOURSELF.

“When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey.  She bowed down before David with her face to the ground.” (1 Samuel 25:23)

 

Humility is an internal decision that leads to outward action.

After Abigail humbled herself before David on behalf of her whole family, she takes responsibility.

In a society that likes to shift the blame (which we see everyday from our homes to the house of Representatives), taking responsibility for what we have done will do us well.

 


2. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY.

 

Abigail fell at David’s feet.  She said:

“My lord, let the blame be on me alone. Please let your servant speak to you; hear what your servant has to say.” (1 Samuel 25:24.)

Humility is an internal decision that leads to outward action.

After Abigail humbled herself before David on behalf of her whole family, she takes responsibility.

In a society that likes to shift the blame (which we see everyday from our homes to the house of Representatives), taking responsibility for what we have done will do us well.

We begin to see the error in our ways.  We then understand that our actions have repercussions. And, we can do something to rectify so that we can move on.


3. ASK FORGIVENESS.

Please forgive your servant’s offense, for the LORD will certainly make a lasting dynasty for my master, because he fights the LORD’s battles. Let no wrongdoing be found in you as long as you live. (1 Samuel 25:28)

I’ve always thought it’s useless to be defensive.

If you’re wrong, no need to be defensive.  Why? Because you are wrong!

If you’re right, no need to be defensive. Why? Because ultimately, the truth will come out.  The truth will set you free.

Remember, it is the Lord who will vindicate.