Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. (Matthew 5:5-9)
When I think of the Beatitudes, I like to change that word around a little bit and instead think of them as…
Attitudes to BE.
On Friday, when I introduced the new topic that I will be writing about I gave several examples of how Jesus showed us the example of humility that we should follow.
“If the God of creation, the greatest man to ever live, did not come to receive glory from men, or to do his own will…
maybe we should stop viewing those things as worthy of our time as well.”
So today lets first establish what a humble demeanor looks like.
Humility or humbleness is a quality of being courteously respectful of others.
It is the opposite of aggressiveness, arrogance, boastfulness, and vanity.
Rather than, “Me first,” humility allows us to say, “No, you first, my friend.”
Humility is the quality that lets us go more than halfway to meet the needs and demands of others.
Friendships and marriages are dissolved over angry words.
Resentments divide families and co-workers.
Prejudice separates race from race and religion from religion.
Reputations are destroyed by malicious gossip.
Greed puts enmity between rich and poor.
Wars are fought over arrogant assertions.
Humility as a virtue is a major theme of both the Old and New Testaments.
Why do qualities such as courtesy, patience and deference have such a prominent place in the Bible?
It is because a demeanor of humility is exactly what is needed to live in peace and harmony with all persons.
Humility dissipates anger and heals old wounds.
Humility allows us to see the dignity and worth of all God’s people.
Humility distinguishes the wise leader from the arrogant power-seeker.
Acting with humility does not in any way deny our own self-worth.
Rather, it affirms the inherent worth of all persons.
In my own personal experience, allowing others to serve me has been something I find extremely difficult.
I love to serve others.
When I hear of a death, I love to bring food to comfort the family.
When a friend is moving, I will be there helping them with the packing and unpacking.
I find great satisfaction from giving service.
So, it may appear that I am a very humble person who understands that service to my fellow-men is something that is asked of me as a Christian.
Lets go to the Bible and see what Jesus had to say to a man with an attitude like mine.
His attitude was … I love to serve others, but refuse to allow them the blessing of serving me.
When Jesus and his disciples were gathered for the Last Supper, (John 13:1-20) Jesus in humble servanthood, washed his disciples’ feet. But Simon Peter resisted saying, “You shall never wash my feet!” Then Jesus answered, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with me.”
Washing their feet was not just a mere ritual for Jesus.
It was a picture of our need to be cleansed by Christ ourselves.
We need to ACCEPT his offer of the cleansing before he can be free to clean us.
Likewise, we also need to be humble enough to accept the gift of service when it is offered to us.
There are other really great scriptures that we can turn to for guidance on learning humility.
(James 4:6) But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.
We should maintain an attitude of deference toward both God and other persons.
Wisdom cannot be found or practiced by a person who is filled with anger or arrogance.
As servants of God, we must respect all of God’s creation, including our fellow human beings.
(Proverbs 27:1-2)Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth. Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips.
(Proverbs 11:2-3)When pride comes, then comes dishonor, but with the humble is wisdom. The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the falseness of the treacherous will destroy them.
Humility means putting God and other persons ahead of our own selfish interests.
(Proverbs 22:4)Humility and the fear of the LORD bring wealth and honor and life.
( Matthew 23:11-12)”But the greatest among you shall be your servant. “And whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.
From these scriptures we can see that by learning to be humble, not just putting on the “face” of humility, but actually adopting a humble way of living, we will have access to Gods supernatural resilience.
Lets say that you have a co-worker who is arrogant and cruel to everyone. One day they make a really serious mistake, one that could cost them their job.
They ask their co-workers to be merciful to them and help them save their job.
How do you imagine the co-workers will react to his requests for mercy, when he has NEVER shown them one ounce of mercy?
Now imagine the same scenario, but this time the co-worker is a kind-hearted, humble person.
How do you think their request for mercy will be met?
This is exactly what Jesus is trying to help us understand by teaching us these things.