Trading the bling for humility

Published 9:55 pm Thursday, April 25, 2019

By Alan Cruz

The word “bling” in the pop culture of today means to have something expensive like clothing or shiny jewelry in the form of necklaces or rings that a person wants you to exclusively notice on them.

“Bling” is now slowly losing its use as a label to describe style and materialistic attitudes, as newer and fancier words come into play to replace it. But bling, at its height in use, was when people wanted to show off their material worth to the world. Bling was what it was called. It communicated, “Look at my stuff. Look at my expensive stuff, in fact. I’ve got it made! I have this and you don’t.”

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Simply, bling said, “Look at me and envy me.”

To try to locate any semblance of the virtue we call humility in the concept of bling is a hopeless task. Bling is woefully all about self and materialism.

The essence of bling is selfishness and self-glory, which compares glaringly opposite with humility. When Jesus Christ came into the world, He came humbly. There was no regal fanfare with parades or opulent ceremonies upon His arrival. He came quietly, meekly and in poverty. The Bible teaches that Jesus is the Light of the World. No material bling on earth could ever compare with the shine and brightness of Jesus’ true glory as the Son of God.

Our world today is steeped in unabashed narcissism. The culture of today worships riches, luxury and the pursuit of pleasure. This can be seen especially on social media, where millions post their never-ending preoccupation of themselves in millions of pictures depicting their pleasures, stuff and physiques.

As Christians, we are called to decrease the emphasis on ourselves and increase the influence of Christ in our lives for others. Too often, followers of Christ can have the tendency to fall back and want to be selfishly noticed, regarded, and take on a bit of bling for the world to see. When this happens, we’ve exchanged humility for high-mindedness. When we realize that Jesus selflessly left the splendor and glory of heaven to condescend to our low estate in sin and self, we can come to a place where we can now acknowledge that a life of humility and selflessness brings the greatest shine and satisfaction that bling can only wish for. The world says, “Look at me,” but God says, “Look at my Son.”

All of our earthly bling will be left to someone else or be destroyed when we leave this life someday. Trade your bling for something better today. Christ is the only one who can truly satisfy the human heart to fullness. Trade self for the Savior, and know true life today and eternal life thereafter.

Jesus said, “but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” — John 4:14

The Rev. Alan Cruz is the senior pastor of Cypress Chapel Christian Church in Suffolk. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Liberty University and Liberty University Baptist Theological Seminary. He is also a U.S. Navy veteran as well as a 21-year veteran of the Virginia Beach Police Department.