Sunday, May 30, 2010

Humble Pie

This is not an easy subject to write about. If someone is truly humble, they certainly won't brag about how they have attained an exalted position among 'the few, the humble,...' Likewise, if someone isn't humble, they really don't know what it is about in the first place. I also think that humility is an often misunderstood subject.

First of all, let's get an understanding of what we are talking about. Humility is not being a doormat, letting others walk all over you. I think the Scriptures explain it best. In I Peter 5:5 we read, 'Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility...' Now being submissive to one another and being clothed with humility are very similar. Humility does not lord itself over another. As Christians we are not to act as the disciples did, arguing about who would be the greatest in the Kingdom, but we are to have a servant attitude, preferring others.

This is not the kind of attitude you will find in this world. We scratch and claw to get ahead, we tell whoppers to be thought of more highly than we ought, and we strut about, hoping to be noticed by those we want to please, or just to be well thought of. And of course there are those times it backfires, because people don't appreciate egotistical, proud peacocks. So why do we do it? I don't know about others, but I am just a slow learner. So we need the assistance of God. He gives grace to the humble, but resists the proud.

When I think of examples of those who are humble, the first person I think of is my dad. Of course he was not famous (although you certainly can, and still be humble). As a missionary to Japan and Korea, he was a tremendous preacher, gifted teacher, and wonderful soul-winner. But he never tried to lift himself up or encourage people to notice him. He worked for his Savior first of all, and then he always put others before himself. He also had a knack for detecting those who were stuck on themselves. He had no use for them.

This what humility is all about. Some may think that to be humble, they have to feel and act inferior. Nothing about that is humble, it is just degrading. You can be a pastor or leader and still be humble. In fact a humble leader is a better leader because he acts as a servant to others.

In I Peter 5:6 God promises this: Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time. Now let's go forth and in humility serve others.