Writings on Christianity

Is Humility Possible in Naperville? (Snobby City)

Is Humility Possible in Naperville?

Naperville was recently included in a list of America’s most snobby cities ( The ranking was based on the following factors: “Median home price (the higher the better), Median household income (the higher the better), Percent of population with a college degree (the higher the better), Private schools per capita (the more the better), Performing arts per capita (the more the better), Art galleries per capita (the more the better), Fast food restaurants per capita (the fewer the better), Country clubs per capita (the more the better).” Certainly Naperville has these things, but that does not mean we must call it a snobby city. Surely a city can possess wealth, culture, and education and remain balanced and humble? Right?

Well, it definitely can, but that does not mean it will… While we in Naperville can debate the validity of our ‘snobby’ title, the fact is this: some view our city as elitist or snobby. And if we’re honest, I think that most of us have encountered individuals in Naperville who really are snobby–those who constantly look down on their neighbor for various superficial reasons; those who think they are way more important than they really are; those who think they are entitled to be celebrated when really they are not that special. And I think if we’re honest–really, really honest–we recognize that even we ourselves have a degree of snobbiness, or pride, within us about some things in our life (our career, our appearance, our financial status, our accomplishments).

But how can a city be humble? How can a person be humle? Only by looking to Jesus and being transformed by His grace. There was no one in the history more humble than Jesus: before he became human, he ruled in glory over the universe with the Father and Spirit–thus, Jesus gave up His exalted status to become a human and dwell among us (unimaginable humility!); while Jesus dwelt on Earth, he was the model of humility by washing his disciples feet, caring for the unfortunate, patiently teaching the ignorant, correctly his opponents in love (even though He deserved to be worshipped, he served even his enemies); and, in unimaginable humility, Jesus died a humiliating death on a cross to reconcile us to God (he took our penalty for sin, even though he was innocent!). Truly, no one was ever more humble than Jesus.

The Christian marvels at Jesus’ humility and wants to be in the light of his unmatchable goodness. Yet, the Christian also is transformed by the grace of Jesus: Jesus died for MY sins even while I was in rebellion against Him (Rom 5:8)! This grace is personal, it affects us and changes us. It leads us to worship Jesus and turn from our pride and snobbiness.

I believe that if we are to be a humble city, or a humble people, we we must first acknowledge our pride and then seek refuge in Jesus. Only he can make us humble. Only he can rescue us from the folly and destruction of our pride and arrogance.

I pray that our church, Cross of Christ Fellowship, by the grace of God would be a humble community that repents of pride and arrogance. I pray that the city of Naperville would be dramatically impacted by the glorious message of Jesus found in the gospel: Jesus saves us from our pride and arrogance by dying in our place and making us a new creation–a people who love and humbly serve God and others. Pray with me to see Naperville transformed by this outrageous grace and consider being a part of our gospel-centered community (



By Tom Schmidt

Christian, husband of Rach, Church Planter,musician,

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