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Summary: True humility is a Christ-centered, realistic assessment and commitment to serve everyone.

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WHEN IT COMES TO HUMILITY, I BELIEVE J. OSWALD SANDERS, HAD A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE IN HIS BOOK “SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP” WHERE HE WROTE, “THE GREAT FAULT…IS THAT NO ONE LIKES TO BE SECOND. THE WORLD HAS YET TO SEE WHAT COULD HAPPEN IF EVERYONE LOST THE DESIRE TO GET THE GLORY. WOULDN’T IT BE A MARVELOUS PLACE IF NOBODY CARED WHO GOT THE CREDIT?”

OUR WORLD REALLY HAS A HARD TIME DEALING WITH GETTING SECOND PLACE OR PLAYING SECOND FIDDLE. IN FACT, IT WAS THE LATE RACING LEGEND DALE EARNHARDT, SR. THAT COINED THE PHRASE “SECOND PLACE IS THE FIRST LOSER.”

IT WAS NO DIFFERENT IN THE DAYS OF JESUS WITH SOCIETAL NORMS AND STATUSES. IF YOU WERE INVITED TO THE “RIGHT HOMES” AND IF YOU WERE SEATED IN THE “RIGHT PLACES,” THEN PEOPLE WOULD KNOW HOW IMPORTANT YOU REALLY WERE.

THE WHOLE EMPHASIS WAS TO MAINTAIN A REPUTATION WITHOUT REGARD TO BUILDING CHARACTER. IT WAS MORE IMPORTANT TO “BE SEEN” SITTING IN THE RIGHT PLACES WITH THE RIGHT PEOPLE THAN IT WAS TO HUMBLY LIVE THE RIGHT KIND OF LIFE. THEY HAD REPLACED HONOR WITH EGOTISTICAL EXALTATION.

I THINK ALBERT EINSTEIN GAVE SOME GREAT ADVICE WHEN HE SAID, “TRY NOT TO BECOME A MAN OF SUCCESS, BUT TRY TO BECOME A MAN OF VALUE.” SUCCESS THAT COMES ONLY FROM SELF-PROMOTION IS TEMPORARY, BUT BESTOWED HONOR IS LASTING.

PROVERBS 25:6-7 ADDS TO THAT BY SAYING “DON’T DEMAND AN AUDIENCE WITH THE KING OR PUSH FOR A PLACE AMONG THE GREAT. IT IS BETTER TO WAIT FOR AN INVITATION THAN TO BE SENT TO THE END OF THE LINE, PUBLICLY DISGRACED!”

HUMILITY IS A QUALITY OF LIFE OPEN TO PERSONS WHO KNOW THAT THEIR WORTH IS NOT MEASURED BY RECOGNITION FROM THEIR PEERS, BUT BY THE CERTAINTY THAT GOD HAS ACCEPTED THEM JUST THE WAY HE CREATED THEM.

HUMILITY DOES NOT MEAN THINKING LESS OF YOURSELF THAN OF OTHER PEOPLE, NOR DOES IT MEAN HAVING A LOW OPINION OF YOUR OWN GIFTS AND ABILITIES. HUMILITY IS THE CHECKS AND BALANCES NEEDED IN ORDER TO KEEP OUR OWN MOTIVES AND EXPECTATIONS OUT OF THE WAY SO THAT GOD CAN WORK HIS WILL TO THE GOOD OF OTHERS AND FOR HIS GLORY.

HUMILITY IS A FUNDAMENTAL GRACE IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE. IT WILL ALWAYS BE AN ISSUE OF CONFLICT WITH OUR FLESH THAT WANTS US TO OVERESTIMATE OR INFLATE OUR OWN IMPORTANCE.

JESUS WANTS US TO HAVE A HEALTHY BALANCE OF HOW WE THINK ABOUT EACH OTHER. JESUS IS BREAKING THE SOCIAL NORMS OF STATUS, WEALTH, POSITION, AND CLASS TO SAY WE ARE ALL THE SAME AND IN NEED OF BEING TREATED AS EQUALS.

JESUS WANTS US TO REACH OUT BEYOND OUR COMFORT ZONES AND GO BEYOND OF OUR CIRCLE OF FRIENDS WHO CAN EASILY RETURN THE FAVOR AND DO THE SAME THINGS FOR US.

JESUS IS NOT CONDEMING THE SERVICE AND MINISTRY TO OUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY. JESUS MAKES A POINT THAT WE SHOULD NOT LIMIT OUR PERSONAL INVESTMENTS TO AN EXCLUSIVE LIST OF THINGS WE KNOW WE’LL PROFIT FROM OR GAIN RECOGNITION.

OUR MOTIVE FOR SERVICE, SHARING AND GIVING MUST BE FOR THE PRAISE OF GOD AND NOT FOR THE APPLAUSE OF OTHERS OR FOR EARTHLY RECOGNITION. ALL THAT WE DO SHOULD BE DONE IN THE “KINGDOM CONTEXT” OF WHAT IS OF “ETERNAL VALUE.”

WE DO THIS BECAUSE WE KNOW WHAT IT IS LIKE TO COME BEFORE GOD IN SINFULNESS, BROKENESS AND POVERTY. WE HAVE ALL BEEN IN A POSITION THAT REQUIRED US TO ASK, IF NOT PLEAD, FOR MERCY, GRACE, PARDON AND RECONCILIATION.


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