Humility Where You’d Least Expect It - The Warrior's Journey®

Humility Where You’d Least Expect It

Author: Chaplain, COL Scott McChrystal, USA (Ret.)

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“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, … he humbled himself” (Philippians 2:5-7) 

During WWII Heinrich Himmler was head of the Schutzstaffel, the SS. He developed it into a brutal army, the Waffen SS or “weapon SS,” numbering 800,000 men. The SS was no conventional force. Its members considered themselves elite Aryan troops. They were fanatical in their devotion to Hitler and the Nazi party. They became Himmler’s primary instrument in committing war crimes and genocide. In one of Heinrich Himmler’s directives on the selection of prospective SS members, he gave this instruction. “A candidate must never have the attitude of an underling or display humility. He must exude an air of superiority as befits the master race. It must be evident in the way he speaks, stands, and even in his gait.”   

It’s no surprise that Himmler had nothing but contempt for Jesus Christ and viewed Christianity as a “weakening” influence. For humility is the hallmark of Christianity’s founder. “For I am humble and gentle in heart,” said Jesus (Matthew 11:29). Jesus was the very opposite of what Himmler venerated. Himmler saw brutality and arrogance as true signs of strength. He expected it to bring the Nazis a thousand-year reign. But the Third Reich only lasted twelve years. Himmler himself proved to be a pathetic weakling. After the Third Reich’s collapse, he dressed in a private’s uniform to save his own skin. Then, once captured, chewed a cyanide capsule to escape his due punishment.   

But Jesus bravely faced both death and God’s judgments against fallen humanity. He rose from the grave triumphant and His kingdom shall endure forever. We should never cease to be amazed at the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the only member of the human race to whom humility comes naturally.  We tiny specks – on this tiny speck of a planet – must learn humility. And learning humility comes hard to us. Before we willingly step down from our imagined godhood, we must fall on our face innumerable times. Failure must hound us continually before we finally come to grips with our own frailty, stupidity, and sinfulness. And, still – despite all our failures – most of us never “get it.” 

We should expect it to be the other way around. By our standards, Jesus – the Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer of the universe, should have the high and mighty attitude. But no, Jesus is gentle and humble. He who dwelt with the Father from all eternity (John 17:5) always associated with the lowly and accepted the most menial jobs – especially when His own disciples refused to soil their hands with them (John 13:1-17).   


  • Have you ever taken offence when someone told you to do something you believed was beneath you? What would Jesus have done in your place? 
  • Can you see why “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble”? 
  • Let’s humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord that He may lift us up. 

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