Pasadena, California – January 1, 2018
Moments after Georgia defeated Oklahoma in their College Football Playoff, Bulldogs linebacker David Bellamy yelled, “Humble yourself!” to Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield as the Heisman Trophy winner was making his way across the field shaking hands.
Since then, I have been unable to get the quote off my mind.
Bellamy was referring to Mayfield’s flamboyant behavior throughout the game. This was not the first time the quarterback’s behavior had lacked humility. In the game against Kansas, Mayfield lewdly grabbed his crotch and performed a series of other antics that forced him to apologize after the game.
Also, after a high-profile victory over Ohio State, Mayfield grabbed a huge Oklahoma flag and planted it in the middle of Ohio Stadium. Again, he later apologized for the demeaning act.
And, there was the back-and-forth arguing with the Texas Tech coaching staff when Mayfield transferred to Oklahoma.
Lastly, that I know of, there was an embarrassing arrest a year ago for public intoxication, disorderly conduct, fleeing and resisting arrest after an incident outside an Arkansas bar.
Chase Mayfield would not humble himself. He will also leave Oklahoma without a national championship.
Now, I know that Chase Mayfield is a very young man who probably has many good qualities. His actions actually helped many people across the nation, including me, to look in the mirror and check our own levels of humility. For if we do not humble ourselves, God will assist us in that endeavor.
My friend Chris works in sales for a very large corporation. He is a good man who works hard and is talented in selling himself and his products to customers. But, he also has a weakness that took him years to address; pride.
Now, I believe that God wants for all of us to be proud of ourselves and others. This is not the type of I pride I speak of. Here, the term “pride” refers to when we believe we can do all things without Him.
Along with being a good salesman, he is also a sales manager with ten salespeople to manage. From the beginning, Chris sensed that he could not effectively manage his team. So, he began to micromanage, become more demanding, and tightened his grip on his team more every day. He just knew he could overcome this challenge by himself.
Eventually, his team became discontent, he became angry, and the entire team was on the verge of collapse. Then, just before his talented team quit on him, he prayed and surrendered.
I don’t mean that he surrendered and gave up on the team. He told God that he could not accomplish the task himself and gave the problem to Him.
At the sales meeting the next day, he began the meeting with one sentence, “I have failed to properly and effectively lead this team.” For a long ten seconds, there was only silence. Then Susan, one of the lowest performing sales team members, said, “Chris, you love sales and excel in that area. I do not have that talent. But, I do love interacting and motivating others to be the best they can be. We need you to lead us in sales, Chris. Allow me to manage our team.”
Rather than snap back and tell Susan that she needed to become better at sales, he simply responded, “okay.”
Today, the team is one of the most profitable groups within the entire company. By “letting go” and, humbling himself (with some help from God), Chris not only grew closer to God. His act of humility helped the team, the company, the stockholders, and many others who heard about his act.
The Bible provides a basic principle regarding humility: “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).
When we are proud, God opposes us; he becomes our adversary. We might even think we can successfully oppose God. But, history and examples in our own lives, show that the prideful may win many battles, but always eventually lose the war.
However, if we humble ourselves, God will exalt us in due time.
Perhaps the greatest example of humility in the history of the world was displayed over 2000 years ago in the Roman province of Judea. This was when Jesus Christ humbled himself and allowed men in Jerusalem to arrest, viciously abuse, and crucify him. He could have easily used his own power to free himself.
But, Jesus, who committed no sin of his own, sacrificed his life to save us from our sins.