Did David write a psalm celebrating his victory over Goliath? No, but he did write a psalm of penitence confessing his sin with Bathsheba. It takes humility to admit one’s failings and shortcomings. And through the gospels, we seldom see acclamation being given to the writers. It’s almost as if they’ve become insignificant in comparison to the message they’re proclaiming.
Yet we all like a word of affirmation and credit when we do something good, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But if we do things because we want, or need to hear, those words of affirmation, where we get the credit for what we’ve done, then our attitude is wrong.
It’s challenging for me to think how often I’ve done things so that others will acknowledge my deed, and notice that it was I who did it, but Jesus teaches us to humble ourselves before God.
In 2 Samuel 7:18 it says ‘Who am I, O Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?’ We must realise that without God, we’re nothing. We read ‘Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will lift you up in honour’ (James 4:10), and ‘Pride ends in humiliation while humility brings honour’ (Proverbs 29:23).
Jesus said ‘For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted’ (Luke 14:11). This was the time when Jesus was invited to a banquet and noticed the guests were all trying to sit in the seats of honour near the head of the table.
Which one of us doesn’t like to be noticed? Sometimes we wrongly put ourselves in an elevated position. It’s the sin of pride, and we all fall prey to it at times. We need to
keep our attitude humble, and not fall into the traps that the enemy so slyly sets for us. We need to stay close to the Lord, and follow the leading of His Spirit day by day to keep us on the narrow path.
Our Lord and Saviour came to earth in all humility, and was born in a stable. He didn’t look for any status as He grew up among His peers, and, at the end, He didn’t even defend Himself at His trial. Isaiah prophesied ‘He was oppressed and treated harshly yet He never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter and as a sheep is silent before the shearers He did not open His mouth’ (Isaiah 53:7). This gives us the greatest example of humility that we will ever see. This should encourage us all to make every effort to walk humbly with the Lord.
‘No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God’ (Micah 6:8).
Prayer: Father, we come to You today, and confess before You our failure to always walk before You in humility. Forgive us our pride and arrogance, in our own foolish ways, and help us to look to You and allow You to lead us along life’s pathways, seeking Your heart and Your ways always. Help us to follow Your example of humility in all things. Amen.
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