Read: Luke 14
“Instead, take the lowest place at the foot of the table…For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 14:10-11, NLT)
Since several times in the New Testament we are told to clothe ourselves in humility, here’s the question I have for you: If you were clothed in your own humility, would you be scantily clad?
Humility is one of the prominent virtues of Jesus, and therefore, it should be the prominent virtue of his followers. Humility doesn’t mean thinking less of yourself than others; nor does it mean having a low opinion of your own gifts, abilities and station in life. It simply means freedom from thinking about yourself one way or the other at all.
William Carey, who lived 200 years ago, was known as the “father” of the modern mission’s movement. He was a Baptist missionary to India where he served for forty-one years translating the Scriptures. Not once did he ever return to his home country of England. When Carey took ill with the disease that would eventually take his life, he was asked to select the Scripture that would shared at his funeral. He replied,
“Oh, I feel that such a poor sinful creature is unworthy to have anything said about him; but if a funeral sermon must be preached, let it be from the words, ‘Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.’”
One of the things that made William Carey great was the kind of humility you witness in that statement. That wasn’t just a false humility either, for he directed his own gravestone to be engraved with this epitaph:
Born, August 17, 1761
Died, June 9, 1834
“A wretched, poor, and helpless worm,
On Thy kind arms I fall.”
To truly enter into that kind of authentic humility, which is the kind that Jesus described, you’ve got to start thinking less of yourself.
Let me give you a challenge this week: Forget about yourself! Try it. Practice being absent minded when it comes to you. Get you out of your thoughts, and replace them with prayers of blessings and plans for serving for other people in your life. Try living every moment of your life for the glory of God alone. And see what happens.
I suspect that if you allow the Lord to change your attitude, the simple joy of just belonging to him will be the result.
“Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself. It is thinking of yourself less.” ~Mike Show
What If God Took Over?
Jesus perfectly modeled authentic humility, so his life has something to teach us about humility. Try practicing humility this week in one of the ways Jesus did: Washing the feet of another, playing with little children, serving the poor, or having a meal with social outcasts.