by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28
“Humility.” The word was seared on my brain.
At the Florida Christian Writers Conference two years ago, I was dazzled by beautiful Lake Yale. Every morning the lake greeted us with its serenity and offered the perfect retreat for writers. Anne of Green Gables would have called it “the lake of shining waters.”
The sun shining on the lake, however, was blinding. One morning I was hypnotized by the glistening ripples, and I studied them too long. The image of the sun on the water was seared across my vision, and I said a fervent prayer that I wouldn’t lose my sight.
I concentrated on the image with my eyes shut, and I saw a word forming. I blinked once for the word to become sharper and shut my eyes again. The image most resembled the word “humility,” and it was appropriate.
Humility keeps us locked into God and His purposes. When we have success in ministry, it’s easy to get focused on ourselves and our accomplishments. I had a temptation to do that at different points in my writing career, like when I actually won something in a contest at my second writers’ conference. Success can shine like beautiful waters, but it can also blind us to from Whom it came.
What has kept me on my knees in prayer throughout my ministry is knowing the Source of the blessings, and sharing ministry adventures with Him. That brings joy. God faithfully helps us in our ministries, and when we stay dependent on and connected to Him, it’s His love, grace, and truth that impact people’s hearts. Humility is recognizing His work in our lives, and turns into a grateful joy over what He has done.
If anyone could have had pride over success in ministry, it would have been Jesus. But the mindset He chose for Himself was humility. He chose to be born to a humble couple in a humble setting, greeted by humble shepherds. Yet, there was joy present. Angels heralded His birth and the people heard about God’s great gift to us.
His birth displayed humility, and so did His death. Jesus chose to humble Himself “and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8 NKJV). Yet joy wasn’t missing from His heart even in such a mission. “For the joy that was set before Him [He] endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2 NKJV). He knew what God would accomplish through His death, and He said yes.
When God calls us to serve Him, humility keeps our hearts tethered to Him and to joy. He is the One who provides wonderful opportunities to help people, and our part is to faithfully follow Him and work hard, and He helps us even with that. Joy comes from sharing the adventure with Him and with the people He has given us to work with.
So when good things happen as a result of hard work, we can rejoice in the One who made them possible. He is the One guiding us on the journey, and the joy of life with Him shines ever so brightly.
He is your praise, and He is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things which your eyes have seen. Deuteronomy 10:21 NKJV
About the author: Katy Kauffman is a Bible study author, an editor of Refresh Bible Study Magazine, and a co-founder of Lighthouse Bible Studies. Her writing tends to focus on winning life’s spiritual battles, and she loves connecting with writers and creating compilations such as Breaking the Chains: Strategies for Overcoming Spiritual Bondage and Heart Renovation: A Construction Guide to Godly Character. Katy makes her home in a cozy suburb of Atlanta, Georgia.
Join the conversation: How has humility been important in your life?