At times, it seemed the disciples were making good progress in their faith growth and then their actions would slow it down. Like when they asked Jesus-
“Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”- Matthew 18:1
I wonder… were they secretly hoping that Jesus would name one of them after all they left everything behind to follow him- family, friends, jobs, security… While part of me wants to shake my head at their thinking, the bigger part of me knows that I’ve been there on this issue. Maybe it is part of that honor student inside of me or part of my type A personality, but I want to do well at anything I do… in fact, I want to be one of the best. Then Jesus flips their understanding of ranking on its head-
“Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:4
More than once, Jesus taught people the importance of humility like when he called John the Baptist a man of humility while also calling him one of the greatest men to ever be born. Yet being humble in a culture where pride and status-seeking are the norm is a challenge. Saint Augustine wrote-
“It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men angels.”
So how does one become more humble- especially in our culture? I think C.S. Lewis has the right idea-
“Humility is not thinking less of yourself; it’s thinking of yourself less.”
Tomorrow night I will speak at my third event in just over a year and I’m so excited! Added to that has been a significant increase in my blog traffic. God has really been moving in my life and ministry. With those blessings, I fear pride. My desire is to build this ministry God has led me into so that I can encourage, lead, and point as many people to Christ as possible. Yet with the growth, I ask God to keep me humble. Yes, it is nice to have the compliments after I speak but at the same time I’m trying to figure out how to deal with them. I’m elated that people felt moved by the message yet I don’t want it to be about me but God. I am addicted to checking the stats on my blog. I spend time, energy, and prayer preparing each blog and I want to get the messages God has laid on my heart out to people… yet the stats can also mess with my pride. Maybe I’m the only one who struggles with this battle of pride but knowing the culture we live in, I doubt it.
Lord, I want to walk humbly before you. I already know that anything I do right or well is because of you at work in me… but still pride tries to raise its ugly head and I don’t want it in my life! Help me to be more consumed with serving others than with thoughts of myself. Guide me Saturday night to deliver a message that points to you alone. I want my life to be all about You and others… not me. Amen!