Humility is a tough thing to master. The old joke goes, “Of all of my personality traits, my humility is the one I’m most proud of.” Ask someone to define humility for you. Chance are they’ll have a difficult go of it. Paul has a pretty succinct definition of it in Philippians chapter 2, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”
Paul then goes on to give us an example of humility, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus…(who) emptied Himself, taking the form of a bondservant, and being in the likeness of men.”
I think that all of us are born with some degree of innate humility. Jesus used a child as an example of humility, “Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
When my son was very young he wanted to do everything with me. I remember one time I was announced that I was going to take out the garbage. Caleb piped up, “Can I help?” Well, it was only bag and the garbage can was just outside the back door. Before I could tell no thanks, Teri, my wife, anticipating what I was about to say, said, “He just wants to be with you.” So I let him help take out the trash. He didn’t care what the actual activity was, he just wanted to hang out with dad.
That’s the point, I believe, that Jesus was making when He had that little child stand with Him in front of the disciples. Somewhere during our growing up and “maturing” as human beings many of us lose that built in humility. But it’s crucial to being effective for the kingdom of God.
This week during Mid Day Prayer Time, weekdays around 10:30 AM and 2:30 PM, I’ll be sharing scripture references that deal with various aspects of humility and how we can recapture that childlike sense of forgetting ourselves as we seek to be closer to the Father.
Mon 08/07 Luke 14:7-11
Tue 08/08 Luke 14:12-14
Wed 08/09 Luke 18:9-14
Thu 08/10 Matthew 18:1-6
Fri 08/11 Philippians 2:1-8
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