Consider two different dogs. One is a service dog. He’s been trained to help a blind person with their daily life. He resists his own inner nature to chase the squirrel when he is crossing the street with his companion. This keeps his companion safe and headed in the right direction.
On the other hand, there is a stray dog that got yelled at all the time by her owners. She was never trained how to behave properly, and she just gets yelled at every time she does wrong. All she hears is yelling. So this dog now cowers in fear all the time, never knowing when she is going to get yelled at.
The service dog has been humbled, but it is out of service and out of love. He has been trained to resist his inner nature that causes him to stray and act without thinking of the consequences. He serves another person, helping that person throughout the day. He is a guide in the truest sense. It all started with proper training. The trainer taught the dog how to be the best dog it could be, with positive commands and encouraging desired behavior and ignoring unwanted behavior.
The other dog has been humbled, but not out of love. There is no direction or goal in that humbling. It is a scattered and destructive kind of humbling. That kind of humbling is a lessening. Sadly, that kind of humbling is what many churches want to do. They want to focus on sin rather than redemption. They’ve turned the Good News into the guilt trip.
The best part is that Jesus doesn’t work like this. Jesus took away all the “don’ts” in the commandments. He gave us what to do. We are to love. We are to love God and our neighbors with all our heart and soul and strength and mind. We are to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and visit the prisoner. We are to welcome the stranger and befriend the lonely. Jesus motivates us with love instead of fear so that we can be proper servants of God.