It’s not always easy to be humble

Published 5:14 pm Friday, April 8, 2016

It was a day filled with opportunities for me as I did my hospice duties: visiting the sick and hurting, giving the morning devotional message at a retirement home, preaching a funeral, and spending time in the office completing the dreaded paperwork. It was at the end of the day after I got home that I made a rather shocking discovery. As I undressed I discovered a sizeable split in the seat of my pants! I quickly put them back on so my wife could check to see if the tear could be seen–although it did not matter at that point since I had been all over the place in front of a lot of people by then. Thankfully she reported back to me that the three inch split was hidden. What a relief! I just hope I remained in the standing position while in the presence of others.

Interestingly, in a couple days after my incident with the torn pants, it happened that our midweek Bible study addressed the topic of humility. Scripture has much to say about this Godly quality, including what the apostle Peter penned in 1 Peter 5:5b, “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble’” (New International Version). It seems that my clothing had given me a very personal lesson in humility already, but there was more!

After finishing the lesson on bowing low in humility, I concluded the service and shortly thereafter the children were dismissed from their activities. As they were preparing to leave, one of the eight year old girls came up to me and proudly showed me the picture frame she had made. The center where the picture could be placed was open so she held it up to my face to see how it looked. That was fine, but I was not quite ready for what she told me next: “Be sure to brush your teeth when you get home!” I guess those nacho cheese chips that I ate before church told on me and BJ was not reluctant to let me know about it. Another hard lesson in humility!

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Perhaps both of those little events that came my way were more coincidental mishaps in life than real lessons in humility, yet it is very important to our Christian character and witness that we remember to put humility into practice.

Our selfish and pride filled society focuses on self often to the neglect of the needs of others. William Barclay writes: “The basic trouble in the human situation is that men wish to do as little as possible and get as much as possible. It is only when they are filled with the desire to put into life more than they take out, that life for themselves and for others will be happy and prosperous.”

Genuine humility enables us to invest in the lives of others without expectation of anything in return. As Chuck Swindoll stated, “Humble people are too occupied with the well-being of others to guard their own interests or notice their own self-importance.” And certainly we must strive to put into practice what God’s Word says to us about humility: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time” (1 Peter 5:6).

Sometimes the lessons that develop humility in our lives are hard, yet we can be confident that as we grow in humility we are becoming more like Christ.