Every person will experience humiliation at some point in his life. More than likely multiple times in a lifetime and to one degree or another experience some form of humiliation on a daily basis.
As I reflected on a recent humiliating event that occurred in my life I eventually began to ask these questions.
Can a humble person experience humiliation?
Or more appropriately, how does a humble person experience humiliation? “How” as in how does a humble person receive and respond to an event that causes great humiliation. Specifically, events that one is not in control of, does not deserve and is mostly brought on by other people?
The prime example – Jesus. There are many Scripture references that describe Jesus’ humility. Philippians 2 comes to mind.
5 Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, 6 who, existing in the
form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for
His own advantage. 7 Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form
of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in
His external form, 8 He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the
point of death —even to death on a cross.
So Jesus who loved, served, cared for, healed, helped, and who is God experienced an unimaginable and undeserving humiliation. Talk about experiencing a humiliation that you don’t deserve! It was unfair and unjust. Even if you don’t believe that Jesus is the Son of God you still have to admit his crucifixion was unjust. He didn’t deserve it. He hadn’t done anything that demanded this type of response. He was innocent!
No doubt, you can reflect back on a humiliation that occurred in your life just as I can and say to some degree, “I didn’t deserve that!” But it happened.
So what do you do now? How do you respond? How do you move past it?
As I reflected over a great, unjust humiliation that occurred in my life I realized that it had allowed much pride to take root. Pride was keeping that event and all the emotions, etc. on life support. Pride was fueling my anger, my distrust and keeping me from moving past it.
My pride, not the event, was causing me to shut myself off from my future and from vital relationships.
Astonishingly, pride was actually empowering that past event. It was my pride that was greatly limiting my outlook and diminishing my hope for a better future. I couldn’t see past the humiliation. I couldn’t see how I would ever be useful again. And I blamed this all on “them” but in reality it was pride that had somehow craftily crept into my life.
It was like that humiliating event was the snake bite that allowed the poison of pride to be injected into my life. Or maybe it was that event that activated the pride that was already there.???
I can’t really tell you when pride first showed up. Was it there before the event? Most likely to some degree or another. Was it a result of the event or revealed by the event? All I can tell you is that pride is a nasty sin that can easily masquerade itself.
Pride blames, excuses, accuses, hates, dulls, demeans, eludes, hides, and causes one to unjustly question his self worth and value. Pride builds up but at the same time destroys. Satan wants your fall to be hard so that you will never attempt to stand again. So that you will give up. So that you will go through life blaming others for what you could have been but never reach your potential because you are afraid to take risk. You stop being willing to put yourself out there for fear of experiencing another humiliation. Or you put yourself out there in the wrong kind of ways? Regardless, pride builds up but pride destroys.
Pride builds one up like a towering skyscraper. But what pride doesn’t
show is that skyscraper is built with rusty, corroded rivets.
It’s beautiful, but it will eventually crumble under its own weight.
How do you know if your prideful? Well, that humiliating experience still controls you. It is controlling your response to the humiliation. Pride is controlling how you see yourself, view today and view your future. All based on a past event. You just can’t get over it. That’s pride. That experience still makes you sick every time you think about it. That’s pride. You are still fighting against feeling humiliated by that humiliation. That’s pride. They’re, He, She, it is not going to get the best of me! That’s pride.
The only antidote to the poison of pride – confession and repentance. But what pride says is, “Hey wait, this happened to you. What do you have to repent of? You didn’t do anything wrong. They need to confess and repent not you.” But repentance is the only path back to humility and freedom from the power that humiliation has over you. And the reason it still has power over you – pride. It is in humility where you will find peace of mind and soul. It is in humility that you will able to properly evaluate your experience and actually gain valuable lessons for your future.
Maybe, the most important lesson is to guard yourself against pride like it is a lion trying to steal your baby.
Often people attempt to address the humiliation with accomplishment. “I’ll show you!” That’s pride. That’s also living an enemy centered life. If getting back or getting even is your is your motivation. That’s pride.
Someone has wisely stated, “Humility is a safeguard against humiliation”. I believe he was on to something. I don’t think this implies that a humble person will never experience humiliation. Remember Jesus? But I do think the effects of humiliation on a humble person are far less detrimental than to a prideful person. For me I have realized that I was still living with and reliving my humiliation. I’ll leave you with that. But now I have some confessing and repenting to do.