11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. – Matthew 23:11-12
Some of my most vivid memories of my time playing baseball are those moments where I tasted “humble pie.” One of those moments consisted of me beating my chest after a bases-clearing double, only to be tagged out because I was standing off the bag admiring my success. We ended up losing that game as the proverb, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall,” became a reality. From that point forward, I made a decision to play with humility in my heart. That’s right, humility is a choice that we must actively pursue.
There are a couple of practical steps we can take in order to choose humility. The first is to take seriously and embrace the call to servanthood. As a Christian athlete, we don’t play the game to exalt ourselves, but rather we play the game in order to exalt our God. We accomplish this when we serve our teammates on and off the field, but also play with gratitude. We, of all people, understand that everything we have been given is a gift to be thankful for.
This passage of scripture is spoken by Jesus as He is on the way to the cross. If you have any question of what servanthood looks like, then I challenge you to look at Jesus. At the end of the day, do we value the opinion of man or of God? When I get caught up in man’s opinion of me, it usually ends like my story did, with a great and embarrassing fall. However, when we choose humility, we give God the opportunity to exalt us by using us for His glory and kingdom. He cannot use us while pride runs wild in our hearts.
- Reflect on the humility of Jesus by reading Philippians 2:5-11.
- Ask God to reveal ways you can embrace your call to servanthood.
- Thank God for all He has given you and His great love for you.