The Farmer is kind and gentle. He’s not boastful and he’s pretty good at being humble. So when he gives feedback, it doesn’t sting.
I tried on a fabulous jacket that I loved and my sweet husband said, ” Mam, I don’t think it looks good.” I said, “Huh? What are you saying to me?”
He answered, “I’m not sure. Either it’s the color or it’s the cut. The other one you tried on looked better. This, well … uh, it’s not so good.”
And then I saw it. I really saw it. I went to the large mirror at the back of the store and saw what Dean saw. It didn’t look so great. Bunched up in the back, too short in the sleeves and really made me look like I had jumped from upstairs to get into it. But the funny thing was all along, I thought it felt good … I felt happy so it must look good.
Today, this same scenario makes me think of my everyday life and what God’s been talking to me about. The older I get, the more experience I have had with the talents, gifts, and jobs I carry out in life.
Lately, wherever I go, people seem to overlook my years of hard work and trying to be humble, I avoid stating (although I really want to), “But I’ve been a Director of Worship & Creative Arts for 35 years, ” or “Wait! I’ve been a professional musician for 35+ years, wrote 5 books, have had my own bands, sung commercials for 8 years on radio, started my own business, blah … blah … blah.
You see if you’re reading this, you don’t want to be impressed by my resume. You want to be impressed by my kindness, my gentleness, my Christ-likeness.
But this week (and last) I was pushed by people challenging my knowledge, my skill-set and abilities. I reached in the back of my mind for my manual of all I’ve done, when suddenly it dawned on me. The Apostle Paul, one of the most respected apostles in scripture (who taught, preached, healed, wrote 13 New Testament books blah, blah, blah) didn’t start off his letter to the Romans with:
“Let me prove my value. Here’s all I’ve done. Doesn’t it look good on me?”
Nope. He said these words, “This letter is from Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God.” He could have said, “I, the Apostle Paul …” But instead, he put the truth first. As a Christ-follower he was an incredible man, but he wore his humility beautifully. Like a perfect fitted suit coat. First comes the “slave of Christ …” and then he moves on to calling himself an apostle.
The couple of people last week who wanted to boast and brag and let me know that they were sure I didn’t know anything, well, I just gently reminded myself of Paul. No proving. No bragging. No remembering. No comparison. And definitely no competition. Let the others wear their coats and as the Farmer said, not look so good.
You see, I want to wear my jacket of humility right there for everyone to see. Like Paul. Like Farmer Dean. Like Jesus Christ.
What’s humility look like on you?