Friday, May 3, 2013

When Choosing to Have a Low Profile Means False Humility

We have often been told that we should maintain a low profile if we are to be truly humble leaders or individuals. But is that really the path that all leaders or persons should take? Is that what Jesus did while He was on earth and led His disciples? Did He really try to be invisible as He carried out the Father’s Will?

What if God is calling you to preach and proclaim the Gospel by using your gift of gab? What if God is calling you to lead people to worship Him? What if God has placed a burden in your heart to champion a cause or advocacy? Do you maintain a low profile? Is it still humility to hide behind the scenes when God is calling you out to take center stage? Is it still humility to refuse God’s call to you to step out boldly as His anointed? Is it humility to shy away from all kinds of service or roles which make you visible and known because you want to maintain a low profile even though you know that you can help in those areas?
I strongly believe that being visible or being behind the scenes should not be used to gauge a leader or a person’s humility.
1 Corinthians 12 tells us that we are one body in Christ. But just as God created our body to have many parts with different functions, He also created us unique from each other. God has a unique purpose for each one of us and because of that He has bestowed us with different gifts. 1 Corinthians 12:18-19 says, “God placed the parts, each one of them, in the body as He intended… But as it is, there are many parts but one body.” Some of us were called to be preachers, teachers and apostles. Others are called to do administrative work, the leg work or behind the scene work. Does that make any one of us better than others? Does that make us more humble than others? No! We all have a role to play and we are gifted with abilities and talents based on God’s purpose or plan for our lives.

God designed our bodies in such a way that there are exposed parts, not often visible parts, and hidden or private parts. Imagine if suddenly our faces decided to maintain a low profile. Our faces decided that it’s best that they are hidden and covered.  How about if our butts decided that they should be exposed and visible? What would you think of that? Is it humility to choose to be hidden when your call or purpose is to be visible? Is it humility to serve behind the scenes when you’re called and gifted to lead?  Imagine if Moses or Joseph the Dreamer decided that they simply want to maintain low profiles. Would you consider them humble if they have chosen to refuse God’s call to lead His people at a time of need?
For me, humility is recognizing who we are in the sight of God, accepting His truth in our lives and living by it. Humility is recognizing where God has called us to serve in His Church and accepting our role in His plan for salvation with fervor – whether it means we serve behind the scenes or we serve visibly. Humility is choosing to let God use us in whatever way He wishes, not choosing how we’ll serve but submitting ourselves to His Divine Will.

I remember a time when I simply wanted to serve in obscurity. I was telling God that I will continue to serve Him even without a title. Prior to that, I was serving Him and His people very visibly as a leader of single men and women in another community. Then, I joined the Light of Jesus (LOJ) Community. I was set to be a regular member serving without any title. I was happy to do all kinds of service without being called a leader or anything. But God had other plans and through my leader then, God invited me to serve as part of LOJ’s Singles Service Team. 

Around a year ago, I told God again that I’m ready to serve without any title and in obscurity. That was after I served as leader in our Prayer Group under the authority of our Parish Priest. I thought that after my service in our parish that it was God’s purpose for me to serve my family alone and a limited number of people only.  I was willing and ready to serve Him and His Church behind the scenes through my gift of writing. But God had other plans. I suddenly found myself serving the bigger Church and the archdiocese. I found myself writing not just in my little blog but for a big number of people including those abroad. I was amazed to realize that God expanded my territory and widened my influence and reach. 

Then as if on cue, we started this Follow Me Series. I felt God telling me to stop paying attention to those voices telling me to maintain a low profile. I felt God asking me through the recent developments in my life and through the previous roles God has given me to stop resisting His Will and plan for my life. Clearly, He was telling me to embrace my destiny and step out boldly as His anointed into the services/roles where He has called me to use my giftedness. He wants me to shine His light. He reminded me that I should not hide my light under a bushel. That the light in my life is not for me alone or mine to keep. The light that God gave me is for me to share so that others would find Jesus and be drawn closer to Him. That He did not give me the gift of words to simply keep them in my journals like what I used to do. But that He asked me to write my thoughts and reflections so I can inspire and encourage and lead people to Him. That He did not give me the gift of gab for me to be silent. Instead He gave me the gift of words so I can speak comfort, hope, encouragement and wisdom to those who need it the most.
2 Timothy 1:7 says that God did not give us a spirit of cowardice or timidity; but of boldness, of power, of love and wisdom. 

As I look back at my life, I noticed how God thrust me repeatedly into positions of influence I didn’t even ask or imagine for myself. I thank the Lord for His confidence and for those opportunities. So, in true humility I choose to embrace again my destiny and God’s unique call to me. I choose to say yes to all that He asks me to do even if these entail that I’d be very visible and more people would get to know me. I choose to serve not according to other people’s agenda or my agenda. I choose to serve God based on His agenda.
Inspired by the words of our Mother Mary, I say: “I am the Lord’s servant. Be it done to me according to His word.”

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