Summary: A message about the necessity of humbling our hearts, as shown by Jesus in LUKE 14:1-14. It is an explanation of this passage.
“But the greatest among you shall be your servant.”
When I was a teenager, I remember telling my father that I wanted to be a successful businessman when I grew up. He asked me what type of business I wanted to work in, and I told him I didn’t know, I just wanted to be a businessman. Looking back, I was seeing myself as somebody others would look up to. Not a good reason to do anything in life!
So much for the detailed thinking of a teenage boy! But I remember my father gave me two pieces of information, and both have proven themselves to be true and of great worth.
He said, “A great man is always willing to live in the shadows of his success,” and then he followed that bit of wisdom up with, “The most difficult secret for a person to keep is the opinion he has of himself.”
I have found in my life that I have gained the most success during those times I did not care who got the credit. By staying in the shadows I was able to keep my focus on the job at hand, instead of being distracted by taking the bows. I have also found, especially as I have gotten older, that I am not nearly as great as I used to think I was. In other words, my self-opinion had to be grounded in reality, and not be self-delusional.
Okay, so what does all this father-son wisdom of yesterday have to do with my being a Christian today? It has everything to do with it if I truly want to be the best Christian I can be. For me, or for you, to be a good Christian we must have a humble heart. We cannot put too much importance on ourselves lest we get puffed up with self-righteousness. When we do that, we automatically put ourselves above others, and Christians are not supposed to do that. So we must be humble of heart.
But to do it right, we must understand what the word “humble” really means. With the wrong idea of humility, we could end up putting ourselves down, thinking we are less than we really are. We could end up with downcast eyes and refusing to look up. As believers, we need to know that being humble is nothing more than faithful obedience unto an Almighty God: To be fully reliant upon the Word and the Spirit of our Lord.
We can be humble and still go forward with the knowledge that we are doing a good work for Christ. We can have the confidence that what we do is making a wonderful difference for God. The difference is that one puts the focus on us and the other puts the focus on God. And if we are putting the focus on God, we will be obedient to Him.
The Lord Jesus, our beloved Savior was obedient to God, even to the point of dying on the cross. And through His humble obedience, salvation came into a dark and evil world. Humility brings about the will of God, and to help us understand this complex issue, let us begin by asking a simple question.
1. IS IT WRONG TO WANT WANT PERSONAL RECOGNITION?
Have you ever noticed how we like to award ourselves? I am always amazed at how the Hollywood crowd all gathers together once a year to give themselves awards based upon how well they did in a particular film. They make it seem that they should be worshiped for being so good at what they do.