Picture of humility

Would you say you’re a humble person? Well DON’T! The minute you say you’re humble, it means you aren’t. Humble folks don’t toot their own horns. “But, Steve I help little old ladies across the street, I buy Girl Scout cookies then give them away to the poor, I do something kind for someone at least once a week. Listen to yourself, “I, I, I.”. That’s not humble, it’s self-serving. You wouldn’t know humility if it smacked you on the nose.

As I view our culture and social interaction today it becomes glaringly apparent to me that we have abandoned humility as an essential value of one’s character.

What a shame!

Paul writes in Philippians, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselvesnot looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

The bible gives us the most meaningful and possibly the greatest picture of humility ever.

Consider the mother of Jesus.

She was a teenager from Nazareth, a tiny little nondescript wide spot in the road that biblical scholars tell us couldn’t have been home to more than 200 folks or so. It was a place folks passed through never traveled to. Nathanael once remarked in John 1:46, “Can any good thing come from Nazareth?”

She was a virgin betrothed to an impoverished carpenter. The subject of relentless gossip in the town. She would be blessed as the mother of Jesus but cursed by the burden of her history for a lifetime.

When we meet Mary the angel Gabriel is bringing Mary a message,

The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[a] the Son of God. 

Mary could have responded a number of ways, but she responded in true humility, a perfect picture of humility,

I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.1

The Lord’s servant! The word “servant” in this context is the lowest kind of servant (and the most humble.) The lowest kind of servant who would voluntarily sell themselves into slavery.

1Luke 1:28-38

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