Humility is the answer to our most troublesome problems. But we have to pursue it with caution. We are surrounded by counterfeit notions of humility. Humility, as Jesus teaches it, is a profound view of self and others that can revolutionize a person’s life. But this view of self and others stands between two dysfunctional views of self and others—views Dan refers to as ditches.
The Ditch of Smallness says that people are fundamentally bad and that humanity’s greatest spiritual threat is pride. The Ditch of Bigness says the exact opposite: people are fundamentally good, and shame is our greatest danger. Dan Kent presents a third view, a road between the ditches. He shows how the humility Jesus revealed offers the most accurate and freeing view of the self. Whereas shame and arrogance are dysfunction steroids (making our depression darker, our anxiety tighter, our addictions stickier, and so forth), humility, as Jesus teaches it, counteracts shame and pride, thereby subverting two major psychological forces that thwart us.
Once we embrace this new way of seeing ourselves–how Jesus sees us–we begin to relate to ourselves, to others, and to the world around us in a way that allows us to overcome a whole host of vices and self-sabotaging behaviors. Furthermore, whereas the ditches both lead to powerlessness and passivity, humility as Jesus teaches it is empowering, fosters proactivity, and serves as a scaffold for true confidence.
Sermon Length: The sermon can be given in one block (40 minutes to an hour), and modified to apply to any given topic (relationship, politics, and so forth). It can also be a series (in fact, I teach a 12 week course on this material, so I’d welcome a sermon series).
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