HUMILITY Friends, humility escapes me far too often. Sometimes I look at the gift, rather than the Giver of All Gifts, and think that success in life, of any sort, is as a result of “me” and fail to give credit where it is only due - to Christ. Does your “forgetter”...
Friends, humility escapes me far too often. Sometimes I look at the gift, rather than the Giver of All Gifts, and think that success in life, of any sort, is as a result of “me” and fail to give credit where it is only due – to Christ. Does your “forgetter” work like mine? Let’s see what the Lord says about humility, and together discover ways of becoming more humble.
Dear child, I gave you HUMILITY today as a topic, because your wife brought it up yesterday, and you almost missed her point. When you speak as if you are me, declaring with certainty that something is going to happen, you are guilty of pride, which is a sin. Remember, “And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black.” (Matthew 5:36 NIV)
Well, I can get my hair dyed, Lord. Smile. Sorry for the bad humor. You are right, of course. I have no control. But I have a strong illusion of control. When I fail to keep my focus on you, my eternal, Christ-centered perspective is lost, and I am in my own perspective, running my own life, as if I am you. And you don’t like that.
Dear child, that is an understatement. I strongly oppose that. Remember: “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” (James 4:6 NIV) I really am repulsed by pride, which is much stronger than “dislike” my child.
Lord Jesus, your Holy Word is clear: “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 18:14 NIV) Additionally, you say “For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:12 NIV) Lord, how do we humble ourselves?
Dear child, in my Holy Word, you will find extensive instructions in how to achieve humility.
Lord, here is what I have found:
EMBRACE SERVANT LEADERSHIP
“Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26-28 NIV)
Here, Christ turns the common concept of leadership on its head. He teaches you and me that true greatness comes not from being served, but from serving others. This service to others, even to the point of self-sacrifice, is the model of leadership that Jesus demonstrates.
POSSESS CHILD-LIKE DEFERENCE
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3-4 NIV)
Here, Christ extols the qualities of humility, openness, and simplicity often found in children. In the kingdom of heaven, these qualities are more valuable than worldly wisdom or status.
ENGAGE IN HUMBLE PRAYERS AND REPENTANCE
“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 18:13-14 NIV)
In this parable, Jesus stresses the importance of humble repentance. He teaches that admitting our wrongdoings and asking for God’s mercy is more pleasing to God than boastful and self-righteous prayers.
PUT OTHERS FIRST
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:3-4 NIV)
In our relationships with one another, we need to 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 made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” (Philippians 2:6-7 NIV) As Christ-followers, we are told to place others’ needs and interests above our own, reflecting the selfless attitude of Jesus Himself.
WASH THE FEET OF EACH OTHER
Jesus set the example for us in how to treat fellow Christ-followers: “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.” (John 13:14-16 NIV)
In washing His disciples’ feet, a task typically done by the lowest servants, Jesus provides a tangible demonstration of humility and service. His followers are then called to perform similar acts of service for others. We are disciples of Christ, so therefore we are called to teach each other with great humility and deference.
Lord, this is very hard for me to remember. I want to be humble. I want to be someone who is a:
1. Servant leader.
2. Possess child-like deference.
3. Pray with humility and repent of my pride.
4. Put others first.
5. Wash the feet of the Saints.
But, it is so hard to remember sometimes. I forget, and start being “me” instead of letting you be you, working through me. How can I remember to be like you, surrender to you, and not get out of the way of your Holy Spirit?
My child, with man, this is impossible. With me, all things are possible.
Yes, Lord. Thank you for this lesson today.
PETER’S CONVERSATION WITH CHRIST
Friends, I will close with this scripture, that is particularly relevant for all those ministry leaders who have been gifted with so much from the Lord Christ, lest we forget where we have come from, who we are, and where we are going. As we have conversations with Christ, let us reflect on Peter’s dialogue with our Lord and Savior:
26 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 27 Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” 28 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first. (Matthew 19:26-30 NIV)
Many of us who have been so gifted, like Peter, need to heed this message. I don’t know about you, but this is certainly true for me. I don’t want to be last! I like winning. We are winners. All of us. We are in Christ. He has won the battle, and triumphed over death, and now sits in Heaven. He will judge us. Let’s not cross the finish line last. Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to humble us, daily, and stay broken before Him who is Above All, Christ Jesus our Lord, Savior, Master, and Friend. Amen.
Your aspiring servant,
21 June 2023
POSTSCRIPT: Dear friends, if this daily, transparent conversation with God blesses you, please go to www.SOLIDpastors.org, where you will find these posted, and a repository of all, in English and Spanish. If you ever want to chat, reach out at Daniel@SOLIDpastors.org. May Christ bless you richly as you have your own intimate, daily Conversations with God.