The preacher had just given a stirring sermon on the importance of humility. He stood at the front doors shaking hands with his parishioners as they departed the sanctuary. When a fragile little senior adult lady had her turn to speak to the pastor, she took his hand, looked him in the eyes and said, “Preacher, that was a good message. You know,” she continued. “I’ve always been proud of my humility.”
Humility isn’t something we should be proud of, is it? I would think not. But it is something we should be mindful of and certainly striving toward. I believe there will be a long awards ceremony in heaven one day celebrating the good deeds done by believers who lifted up the name of Jesus. We tend to think that those who will be most highly revered will be those Christian leaders with “rock star” status, i.e., Billy Graham, Martin Luther, Mother Teresa, John Calvin, and others.
I think we will be surprised to see that the Kingdom of God was influenced most by simple, humble followers rather than by those who held highly esteemed positions in the Church. I think we’ll discover that a lot of quiet submissive servants made more noise than we realized. I think we’ll see that the unassuming and the unpretentious moved mountains in their prayer closets, in their generosity, and in their silent service.
It has always been interesting to me that one of the great promises of the Bible begins with humility.
2 Chronicles 7:14 says,
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Note that this promise doesn’t begin with prayer. Nor does it begin with worship, i.e., seeking God’s face. Nor does it begin with turning from sin. It begins with humility. When we humble ourselves first, God promises to hear us, forgive us, and heal us.
Let’s choose not to be proud of our humility. Instead, let’s quietly pursue humility. I believe it is one of the greatest character traits a follower of Jesus can portray.
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