1999-03-20 - Humility
Originally Published 1996-04-08
Philippians 2:3-4 "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important then himself, do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others."
There is a story of a certain corporal and a general two centuries ago. The general as he rode along saw group of men endeavoring to lift some timber. They were shorthanded, and the work was not going well. Their corporal stood by and repeatedly yelled orders at them. The general passed and said, "Why don't you lend them help and put your shoulder into it?" "Why sir," said the lofty corporal, "How can you think of such a thing? Do you know who I am? I am a corporal!" The general got off his horse, pulled off his coat, and helped move the timber, and by his efforts the soldiers achieved their task. Then he turned to the high and mighty corporal and said, "Mr. Corporal, next time you want a man to do such work as this you can send for me: I am General George Washington."
This is the attitude we should have. It is the attitude that Christ had.
Christ, was not greedy about the privileges of His deity. He divested Himself of the glories of deity and took on the form of man. But His humiliation did not end there, it was only the beginning. He was born in a manger. He undertook the limitations that all mankind has, He had to grow in knowledge, He got hungry, He needed sleep. He who was God and self-sufficient in all ways, emptied Himself and became needy. But his humiliation did not end her …e
Isaiah 53 says He took on the form of a servant. He went from reigning in heaven, to being lowly and unknown on earth. Christ did not come as a king, but He was a King. There was no glory for Him here. There was humiliation in every way. His humiliation was the very humanity of his existence. The creator became the created. The humiliation of Christ consists in this: He was born. And yet, we all know that His humiliation did not end there, it was only the beginning. He was crucified as a criminal, he died and was buried. How great was His humility.
So it should be with us. We are to be Christlike. This is what it means to be a Christian. We are to cultivate the qualities that Christ had, including humility.
Take an hour today and count the times in conversation you say "I". This may not be a great gauge, but it might be a start. Humility is often unseen, unrewarded, unknown. This is because it does not seek its own. Yet, while it is often unseen, it is crucial to our Christian walk.
"Nothing sets a person so much out of the devil's reach as humility...Real humiliation is what all the most glorious hypocrites, who make the most splendid show of mortification to the world, and high religious affection, grossly fail in...Pure Christian humility disposes a person to take notice of every thing that is good in others, and to make the best of it, and to diminish their failings..." -Jonathan Edwards.
Solo Gloria Dei,