I have had occasion to read my Bible more since I became a full-time minister 9 years ago. I have learned a great deal of humility during this process. I have learned that had I been more humble earlier in my life, I could have saved myself a lot of problems. I have learned that I still struggle with humility. Here is an example. Why do I care what other people think? I care because I want to look good in their eyes. I care because I want them to say good things about me that will increase my arrogance and make it harder still to be humble.
Why do I care about things that are limited to this life? I was thinking yesterday about getting Direct TV so I could watch baseball games. I might get to see some of the players on my fantasy team play in real life. Why would I spend $80 a month for that? That is insanity. No, it is arrogance. I know what I am doing. Yes, it is arrogance.
Why don’t I spend more time in prayer? Because there are other things I would rather do. It is about me, the physical me, not the spiritual one. Again, it is arrogance. I must learn humility the easy way. I must learn it myself. The hard way is for God to teach me humility. He can do that. He has done that with me before because of my stubbornness and blindness. God’s lessons on humility are very effective. But they are no fun, believe me.
I sometimes criticize others because of my perception that they do not see and comprehend the big picture. They see no further than a few inches in front of their nose, I think. I sometimes even say that to my wife (about someone or some group). But the one who cannot see is me. All I see is this world and this life. Why do I want anything that is limited to this life? My failure to see spiritual realities and properly value them is arrogance. But, it is mainly blindness. I say I see, but I am blind.
I must force my thoughts on to Jesus. Who did He not love? When did He not show mercy? Upon which of His enemies did He seek vengeance? When did He fail to be humble and reward humility? When did He not think of others, notice others, show mercy to others, empower others, take time for others, lead others, give for others, die for others? When? I fail. He conquered. He said He would help me be like Him. Why do I not believe that? Why do I not let go and trust Him? Why? The answer is arrogance and fear.
I can only lead from a position of humility. If the shepherd is fearful, the flock will tremble and fail. If the shepherd is courageous, the flock will follow that lead and find strength and will they didn’t know they had. The shepherd’s leader is Christ, the Good Shepherd. Who is good but Christ? Who has courage but Christ? Who has humbled himself but Christ? Who will truly lead but Christ?
Here are my verses for today.
Jesus said to them, If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains. (John 9:41 NKJV)
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. (James 4:10 NKJV)