Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. I Corinthians 13:4
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. Romans 12:3-5
Life-giver rule #5 is not to be prideful or arrogant. We touched on pride and arrogance last week. This week it’s the focus. You cannot have rule #4 without rule #5. Two attacks on humility are the boastful tongue and the arrogant attitude. Arrogance comes from the fear of not being significant. You can have that fear even when you are significant. It comes from a poor self-esteem. When going through life hearing that you will amount to nothing when in reality you do finally achieve something awesome can have you either thinking bigger of yourself than you ought to, or thinking of yourself as inferior. Humility is the happy medium that we should be seeking. Jesus knew He was God, and yet He never had to talk Himself up or brag because He was humble. Others spoke well of Him and so His significance spread. Humility takes an intentional act, but is very rewarding in the end.
The first verse in the scripture I found in Romans tells us our attitude ought to be that of humility. Paul tells us that humility is an intentional act that makes us examine our lives and realize where we are in God’s plan. Sober judgment means just that, examining our lives and seeing ourselves the way God sees us. He always sees us as perfect because of what Jesus did for us, but He also knows that we are in a process of working toward perfection. Humility is exactly that, having the confidence in knowing that you are awesome even though you may fail sometimes, but also realizing you are a work in progress and not really deserving of the rich life God has set before you. Paul is saying humility takes work.
To keep us humble, God has given us all a measure of faith. Without faith, hope and love are lost. As the end of the chapter says, what’s left are faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love. I always like to say that faith brings hope; hope brings love. Love is the highest form of godliness we can aspire to. This is why I write this blog on being a life-giver, love is a life changer for everyone. When you are a life-giver you don’t allow your own selfishness to surface and so arrogance takes a back seat to your godly loving attitude. Faith in a loving great God can keep us humble because we know that God doesn’t have to forgive any of our failures. We also know that it takes the Holy Spirit to keep us in a humble attitude.
As a final point in the above verses, Paul points out that even though you may seem to have an unimportant position in the church each holds its own significance. Without legs, He can’t walk without arms He can’t hug, without a mouth He can’t speak. We all have an important function in the body of Christ, let’s not take what seems important and make it bigger than what it is, and let’s not take what seems not so important and make it less than what it is. If you are a Pastor of a church and nobody was cleaning the house of God you would not have an appealing place to worship. Without volunteers to fix God’s house and keeping up with maintenance God’s house is not going to be as welcoming. Without you Pastor, we would not know where the path of God was that we should follow in our lives.
Yesterday I took a 10 mile bike ride with my across the street neighbor’s 15 year old boy. We had a great time on a paved trail that was a railroad track at one time, but was ripped up and replaced with pavement and made into a bike and run route. It’s very popular and very fun. As we were coming back into the park the trail starts, he wanted to take an unpaved trail that was a short cut to the other end. The trail was just grass cut lower for the cross-country runners that would meet out there every Saturday. I told him not to go that way and then stopped him for a life lesson. I told him even though a path may seem appealing and look promising, that it could lead him to a cliff, a hole, or some unseen problem. God’s path is paved and will have bumps on occasion, but it’s a whole lot more promising than a bumpy unpaved godless path that is nothing more than seeking our own glory than God’s. Arrogance and bragging, can lead you to nothing more than your own sought after prison that will keep you longer than you wish to stay.
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.