A friend who is fairly new to the Christian faith told me, “I don’t know a lot of ins and outs of the church world. Sometimes I just feel like an outsider.”
What a beautiful statement. I think the Lord is endeared by those words.
The Pharisees considered themselves insiders, and Jesus called them hypocrites and fools. He was repulsed by their pride in thinking they were superior to everyone else, knew it all, and that they tried to be justified by the law instead of love.
Humility is essential for the Christian faith–there must be a need present for a Savior.
We don’t know it all, and we don’t have all the answers. We are simply to seek Him. Jesus said, “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life (JN 5:39-40). He wants our hearts, not our knowledge. He wants us to love him and love others.
When I was in Guatemala and led educational awareness trips around the country, I had various groups arrive from the U.S. such as seminaries, churches, and college groups. Overall, the seminary group carried a superior and very knowledgeable attitude; it was a long ten days. The most humble and enjoyable groups were the college students and families with children. They were open, moldable, inquisitive, and humble. Just like my friend who felt like an outsider.
Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven…For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest” (MT 18:3, LK 9:48) Children have great faith, humility, and an eagerness to learn, and Jesus told us to become like them. So, when I think about someone new to the faith, I consider what a blessing that is–fresh ears, fresh eyes, and a fresh mind to inhale the Word of God in its purest form; A heart and mind wide open to hear his voice and learn about him.
I think we can all learn from those who are new to seeking Jesus.
We can learn humility and an openness to hear Him, not necessarily all the Christian voices that are present through books and preaching, but through him and his Word. Yes, I believe there is great value in learning from others and growing in wisdom, but we need to be careful not to seek that first. I think Jesus wants us to simply come to him, individually and in community, to gain life, living water, and our daily bread.
Over and over throughout the Bible, the Lord conveys favor for a humble and open spirit: through the man who asked for help with his unbelief, the loving woman who wept at Jesus’ feet, the children who came unashamed to him, the sheep who wandered off and was carried home, the woman who gave all she had as an offering, the sick who desperately called out to him through faith, and the man who called himself a sinner and begged for mercy. They were all humble and in need.
And the greatest example of all: the One who knew the cross was before him, but also knew that he came from God and was returning to God, so he got down on his knees and washed the disciples feet. Wow. A man who took all of our darkness and pain and pride and sin upon himself so we might taste his light and be set free to be with God for eternity. Giving of oneself. Giving it all. That is humility. Not focusing on knowing it all, but giving it all. Jesus said: “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it” (Mt 10:39).
Jesus said, “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Luke 5:32).
I believe this is his way of saying if you think you are “righteous” on your own, you have no need for a Savior, but those who know they are in need of him are the ones he came for. These words are all so convicting to me, but they also refresh my soul because I want to be more like him. Lord, help us to walk in humility–to replace pride with humility and skepticism with faith, and to put giving before knowing.
So if you feel like an outsider, take heart because when you humble yourself before the Lord, he will indeed lift you up.
Come visit me at www.LinseyDriskill.com and @BeautifulHeartedParenting.