In my lifetime I’ve come to believe that true humility is a rare commodity.
From my perspective, true humility develops within a person when they recognize there’s a power greater than themselves — that they alone don’t have control of a situation or outcome. That “power” could be a terminal disease, a natural disaster, or experiencing violence. Today, throughout the world fear has gripped every nation because of a virus we can’t see or trace. And while our scientific community is working tirelessly to find solutions, many people view this virus as a power greater than themselves, at least for right now. This has produced what I would call a counterfeit humility.
I say counterfeit because the power of this virus is temporary; once we have a vaccine, the ability to instantly test anyone who needs it, and treatments for those most vulnerable, we will feel as though we’ve conquered this virus and it will no longer be a “power greater than ourselves.”
One of the greatest weaknesses of the human condition is our belief nothing can conquer us; we’ve been conditioned to believe we can overcome anything, eventually, on our own. This may be true in many cases, but not all.
Benjamin Franklin is credited with stating that, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Will Rogers later added, “The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets.”
I believe that underlying our fear of the virus is actually our fear of the one thing that none of us can control whatsoever — our own mortality. Each of us will someday die; none of us is getting out of here alive.
For the Christian though, there isn’t any fear of death. We know this life is not the end. You see, our Lord conquered death at His resurrection and promised He was going to prepare a place for us. Jesus is our true greater power and the peace given is not temporary.
At every Christian funeral we attend, I really annoy my wife. At some point I lean over to her and whisper, “I’m jealous!” I don’t have a death wish; I am just longing to experience the glories of His presence in heaven forever where He will wipe every tear from our eyes. The knowledge of that eventuality is bringing me to tears right now as I type this. When our faith is in Jesus we no longer need to be slaves to fear of any kind.
Forty years ago I came to the conclusion there is a power greater than myself; His name is Jesus. I bowed my knee, surrendered my heart to Him and He saved me. I’m no longer under the illusion I am in control but I know the one who is and He loves me. He loves me so much He gave His life on earth for me on the cross and paid the penalty for my sin.
Do you ever worry about what will happen after the event of your own passing — the one thing you have no control over? The Bible makes it clear if we humble ourselves before God and ask for forgiveness we will not be denied. The apostle Paul wrote, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
This is the source of true peace, knowing for sure I’m going to heaven forever. 1 John 5:13 tells us, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.” If you don’t know, you can. God loves you and wants to give you His lasting peace, not just in this time of fear and doubt, but for all eternity.
Sam Anderson is Center Director of Central Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge.