Speaking Of Life 1040 | Humility
The story is told about a time a rider came across a few soldiers who were trying to move a heavy log of wood without success. The corporal was standing by just watching as the men struggled.
The rider asked the corporal why he wasn’t helping. The corporal replied: “I am the corporal; I give orders.“
The rider said nothing in response. Instead he dismounted his horse, joined the soldiers and worked with them to move the heavy log. With his help, the task was finally able to be carried out.
Who was this helpful rider? None other than George Washington, the Commander-in-chief.
He quietly mounted his horse, turned to the corporal and said, “The next time your men need help, send for the commander-in-chief.”
Humility is one of the most revered characteristics a person can have. George Washington did not think it beneath him to help soldiers with something that needed to be done.
Humility is about being modest, respectful and putting others before yourself. It is not calling attention to yourself or thinking more highly of yourself than you ought. The great barrier to humility is, of course, pride.
It says this in the book of Proverbs:
Do not put yourself forward in the king’s presence or stand in the place of the great; for it is better to be told, “Come up here,” than to be put lower in the presence of a noble. Prov 25:6-7, NRSV
Jesus harkens back to this proverb while eating a meal at the house of a leader of the Pharisees. He noticed how the guests chose the places of honor to sit. He told them:
When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honor, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, ‘Give this person your place,’ and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. (Luke 14:8-11)
Humility compels us to put others before ourselves, especially others who would otherwise be overlooked or forgotten.
In so many situations in life, we have the choice to give in to our pride. Or we can let the humility of Christ lead us in our thoughts and deeds. Whether it’s helping someone with a task that others might think is beneath you, or giving up your seat for someone else. May humility be your default response. Choose humility.
I’m Greg Williams, Speaking of Life