Reflections From The Bible And Life

How Humility Handles Our Need To Be Noticed

Our relationships are filled with the need to be noticed. If you notice, when we were kids we always competed to our parents’ attention. Maybe if you’re a parent you’d notice that with your kids too. Sibling rivalries are always rooted to the competition of attention.

We all enjoy being noticed, but it’s very easy for this enjoyment to turn into a need which becomes a relational drug that we tend to crave for everyday. Even as adolescents, guys tend to make up lies just to impress girls, and vice versa. In the parties, people tend to notice who sits at the head table and desires to be seated there as well. People also strive to work hard for the purpose to achieving awards and be praised at. We love all that attention.

With the choice of humbling yourself, you tend to see the world in a different light. When one is humble, one tends to notice other people’s needs instead of always needing to be noticed. One finds a refreshing freedom to see, care about and act on the needs he sees around him.

Jesus once pointed out to the Pharisees and said “do not do what they do.. Everything they do is done for men to see”(Matthew 23:3,5) They were religious men, but every religious action was borne out of their need to be noticed. Jesus did not want us to be models for others to look at, but instead He wanted us to act upon our genuine desire to follow His ways.

Jesus gave us three telltale signs that indicate people’s need to be noticed during His time here on earth:
1. They make their phylacteries wide
2. They love the place of honor at banquets
3. They love to have men call them rabbi (Matthew 23-5-7)

A Phylactery was a little box worn on the head that contained Scripture verses, intended to honor the Old Testament teaching to carry God‘s Word throughout the day. The people at that time tended to make theirs bigger than the rest so they may make the impression that they have more of the testament in their phylactery than others and therefore more holy. Having the privilege to seat at the place of honor at banquets made them feel important, just like a VIP nowadays. Having men call them rabbi meant that they were masters of the Torah, earning people’s respect.

Nowadays, we still desire to be seated at places of honor in parties. In fact we feel bad when we don’t get noticed during parties. Just like phylacteries, we love symbols. People love to drive cars with the Benz, Rolls Royce, Jaguar, BMW and other exotic and expensive branded logos on their hood. I see people who have BMW logos on their Toyotas and even on jeepneys. Ladies love to carry branded bags with GQ, Prada, etc. Same thing with shoes- Bally. With houses, people tend to buy huge mansions to attract attention and get praises, and it has to be in a posh neighborhood as well.

Honestly, God could care less if your shirt has an alligator logo or not. Neither does he care if you live in a mansion or living in a room for rent. People also tend to do the extreme opposite just to be noticed as well. You don’t have to drive a Hyundai to be holy. It really doesn’t matter to God. What matters to God is why we chose our car, why we chose our house, why we chose our clothes, and why we act holy to others…

As long as we are too preoccupied with what people would think of us, we are not being genuine with God and ourselves. If we start to care about others instead of focusing on ourselves, humility sets in. If we learn to give more importance to others and start being humble, we’ll be surprised at how interesting life can be and we can have less stress, for we don’t have to worry about a lot of things anymore.

We can never have inner peace as long as we focus on ourselves alone.

Romans 12:10 says “Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.” This is what we should be.

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