A post this morning from Phil Schroeder. You will enjoy his posts! Look for his bio soon on the authors’ page.
Once upon a time there were two brothers who grew up on a farm. One went away to college, earned a law degree, and became a partner in a prominent law firm in the state capital. The other brother stayed on the family farm. One day the lawyer came and visited his brother, the farmer. He asked, “Why didn’t you go out and make a name for yourself so that you could hold your head up high in the world like me?” His farming brother pointed outside and said, “See that wheat field over there? Notice that the heads that are standing up are empty, while those that are well-filled are bowed low.”
It’s hard for people to be humble. Yet this is what Jesus called his followers to be. “They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the road?’ But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, ‘Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all’” (Mark 9:33-37).
Why is it so hard to be humble? I think it’s because humility cannot coexist with its nemesis– pride. Pride says, “Me first.” Humility says, “You first.” Pride says, “I expect special treatment.” Humility says, “I expect common treatment.” Pride says, “You should know who I am.” Humility says, “I want to know who you are.” Pride says, “I’m the best.” Humility says, “There’s always someone better.” Pride notices how other people treat it. Humility doesn’t.
In all of us, pride wars for our hearts. In the long run however, the one who is hurt the most by pride is the one who is ruled by it.
The following story illustrates why. Two mountain goats met each other on a narrow ledge just wide enough for only one of the animals to pass safely. On one side was a high cliff with a long drop to the bottom. On the other side was a steep wall. There was no way for them to squeeze past each other. If they acted like many people do, they would have stood there refusing to move until one gave way to the other. Eventually they would have butted heads until they both plunged over the edge. But that’s not what happened. These two goats had more sense than that. One of them lay down on the trail and let the other literally walk over him. And then both were able to continue safely.
Unity is impossible without humility. The church that is humble won’t crumble. (By that, I mean the church that is made up of humble people. I’m talking about the people here, not an institution.)
“Before a downfall the heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor” (Proverbs 18:12).