Thursday, March 10, 2016

Walk Worthy: Walk in Humility

Encouragement for your daily walk with God 

You’ll not see humility on most reality shows. In fact, they seem to gear themselves for the proud, the boastful, the I’m-looking-out-for-number-one participants. Humility isn’t a character trait very much sought after in our culture. That’s why, as Christ followers, we must pursue it at all costs. But be careful, as one saying goes, the minute you think you have it, you’ve lost it.

The Apostle Paul characterized humility as part of our “worthy walk.” Our English word comes from the compound Greek word, tapeinofrosunē. The first part of the word means, low. It was used metaphorically to mean, poor or unimportant. The second part of the word means, to think critically or to judge critically. Put together, it means, to think lowly of yourself.

By the way, this is a particularly “Christian” word. A renowned Greek scholar said, “No Greek writer employed it before the Christian era, and apart from the influence of Christian writers, it was not used later.”  (Richard Trent - Synonyms of the New Testament)

There is nothing new under the sun. Just as in our day, the Greeks and Romans despised the attitude of humility. Then came God in flesh with the greatest demonstration of humility the world has ever known. King, yet born in an animal stall. Master, yet He washed feet, the work of a slave. Sovereign, yet He had no place to lay His head, and when He died, His body lay in a borrowed tomb.

One great example of humility comes from the 1700’s and the Moravian Church (Latin: UNITAS FRATRUM = Unity of the Brethren). The Moravians saw their distinct calling as bringing the Good News of God’s love to the poorest and most despised people of the world. So, in order to reach slaves in the West Indies with the Gospel of Christ, two Moravians became slaves and toiled side by side with others on the plantations. When these two spoke about Christ, the slaves listened and hundreds came to know Christ as Savior and Lord.

What a great illustration of what Christ has done for us. Paul wrote, “Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead, He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death—even to death on a cross” [Philippians 2:5-8 HCSB].

Christ demonstrated humility by becoming a man and living as a servant.

All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5b

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