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Don't Get Humility Wrong #2

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Being humble, for Christians, does not mean that we walk around feeling sorry for ourselves because of the demands of Christian living. Humility is not to be equated with putting oneself down – the kind of attitude whereby one sister, for instance, feels inferior to another one who is more capable of teaching the ladies’ class than she is. She may however possess a beautiful voice that enhances the singing of the congregation. God has endowed every one of us with a talent that is needful and complementary of others. The apostle Paul, in this regard, emphasizes the idea of mutual dependence between members of the congregation when he said, “For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?” (1 Corinthians 12:14-17).

The context of this discussion by Paul is that of a problem of division in the Corinthian church. Perhaps some of the members felt marginalized, because they didn’t have the spectacular spiritual gifts that others possessed. So in chapter 12, the apostle encouraged all the Corinthian brethren to recognize how vital each member was to the life of the church, illustrating his point with the physical body, the different organs of which are viscerally important for its functioning.

Being humble does not mean that you let anybody say anything to and about you, without correcting any wrong uttered and done against you. You can gently correct a person who has been rude to you without having to be rude! Meekness does not imply a spineless nature. Meekness, put in a rhyme, is not weakness!

To the Greeks humility was weak and despicable, and so it is to most modern people today. But Jesus made it the most distinctive trait of character. It is a mark of true discipleship. Therefore, we need to learn it from Christ who called us to discipleship. He said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me” (Matthew 11:28-29). And He added, “I am meek and lowly in heart” (v. 29). Paul said of Jesus that “being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:6-8).

I submit to you that this is the greatest example of humility the world has ever known. When we get from the Lord a proper understanding of humility, then we will improve in our dealings with one another. We will be moved to have consideration for the “members of the body, which we think to be less honourable”, that is those who are less educated, less financially secured or less successful professionally (1 Corinthians 12:23). Those in leadership in our congregations will be able to see that, as leaders, they are expected to demonstrate what they teach. A good leader provides an example. Good leaders are those who motivate and encourage the church to do the will of God. Good leadership is also much involved in the work of edification of the body of Christ. Paul said that God “gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12)

May the Lord be praised for providing us with the perfect example of humility in Christ. The humility of the Son of God should motivate every one of us to want to become a true disciple of Christ. Are you yet a disciple of Christ? You may become one, if you are willing to obey His command to be baptized in water and be saved. The Saviour said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16).

Constant Coulibaly

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