Who I am without Jesus is a mess; I’m arrogant, like being the smartest kid in the room, an arguer, and just an all around awful person to be around. I recognize that in myself, and I know my great need for a savior! As I read the scriptures, especially in the Old Testament, it was men like me (apart from Christ) who caused the downfall of Israel and Judah, men like me, expressing our opinions and “Lording it over people” who oppressed the poor, the orphan and the widow. It was men like me who led nations to ruin. We don’t learn, do we? It is still the arrogant, the rich, the powerful, the popular, and the “thought leader” we uphold, people who the scriptures warn us about! We try and emulate them, watch tv shows and see social media videos about their lifestyles, and say “if only!” We don’t learn our lesson, and keep perpetuating destruction over and again.
Yet I look, and so as in the scriptures it is today, Humility is the least popular virtue, but it’s the one that God prizes most. A proud and arrogant heart knows what it wants and does just about anything to get it, a humble heart knows its need for the Creator! Humility is seen by action: how one seeks after the Lord our God with all we are, and seeks the welfare of our neighbor (especially the least of these!). The Humble can be of any wealth or social status, but they are not enslaved to it! They realize that God is the giver of all good things, and so He is their master, and so all of their resources are for His name and His Glory and His Kingdom. The proud and arrogant do not see a need for God in most (if not all) things, but the humble see the need for Him in everything. The proud do not need a savior, the humble see that we are hopeless, and so cleave to Jesus BECAUSE He saved us. Humility is the least popular virtue, even after all these millennia, but it has the most benefit, for when we are humble, we can see God with clearer eyes.
Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
1 Peter 5:1-11
So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: 2shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.