It’s time to continue with F-E-L-L-O-W-S-H-I-P, our 10 letter acronym.
Previously we covered F (Fear of the Lord), E (Endurance) L (Love), L (Light of Glory), O (One Thing), W (Worthy) and S (Speech).
Let’s now explore the next letter…
Take My yoke . . . and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart. (Mt. 11:29) Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 2:3–5) – 2 Thes. 1:11
First, let me define what humility is NOT…
Humility is not being shy. It’s not being nice and polite, and it’s not being poor. Actually, I know several (shy, nice polite and poor) people that are full of arrogance and pride…
So, humility is not connected to having or not having money. And it’s not defined by good manners or people skills. You might be “diplomatic” or an excellent negotiator (like most politicians) and still be walking in pride.
Also, humility is not letting people abuse you (at will), putting you down and doing all kinds of evil things to you—Jesus did not die until it was His time to die—nobody spit on His face before that.
Actually, He confronted the pharisees several times (calling them snakes). He violently cleaned up the temple with a whip (Jn. 2:13-16). And never ceased to be the ultimate meek and humble Man (while acting like that).
In short, the “appearance of humility” is NOT humility.
Humility starts by knowing who you are in Christ. Knowing who you are, where you come from and where you are going…
- Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God” —John 13:3
And because He knew His identity—where He was coming from, and where He was going—He enjoyed taking a towel and washing his disciples feet (John 13:1-17).
Humility is choosing to be a servant…
Not for the “looks” or for the praise of man. But because we are filled with the love of God and truly desire to serve people (like Jesus).
But the apostle Paul really pushes the line…
An Extraordinary Way to Live
How can you and I “esteem others BETTER than ourselves” and look for other people’s interest, not only our own?
That’s what Paul told the Philippians (Phil. 2:3–5), and it’s great material for preaching… but who is really living this way?
Who is really “giving” without expecting nothing in return?
Who is sowing without expecting a harvest?
You see, most human relationships are based on ROI (return on investment). “You scratch my back and I scratch yours. Do this for me and I’ll do that”
Even friendships are based on “mutual benefits,” and when those benefits disappear most friendships expire.
But since I’m writing like this… you might be wondering…
Am I an example of humility?
No, I’m not. I wish I was, but I’m still learning from Jesus (to be meek and humble). And I haven’t quite got it yet!
But guess what? I haven’t met others who are an example of humility either… OK, probably one or two (in my entire life).
But most people (including many apostles, prophets and pastors I’ve met), are just pursuing their own interests…
They rarely esteem others as “superior to themselves”. And they (only) remain friendly with you, for as long as they can extract some kind of “benefit” from the relationship…
Ouch… sorry… someone has to say it (or write about it). And I have been guilty of this selfishness myself, countless times. You can be sure that my book—My Humility and How I Got It—is not coming anytime soon (:
So, is it possible to live this way?
Is it possible to truly be meek and humble?
Jesus said it was… if we let Him teach us…
- Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Mt. 11:29 NLT).
Obviously, we all need help with this… right?
Let’s ask the Lord to teach us how to BE humble as He is.
- Jesus, teach me how to walk in Your yoke of humility and meekness. Grant me the grace to learn your “lowliness of heart.” Show me how to truly esteem others better than myself, and transform my attitudes, speech and actions. That I would genuinely care for the interest of others and not only for my own. In Jesus Name, Amen
What are your thoughts about this?