So first let me tell you a little something about me only to make the obvious point. I am just shy of 60 years old but generally have the health of someone much younger. This is evidenced by the fact I have run almost 30,000 miles in the last 40 years. And a recent visit to the doctor produced the following statement from him, “There is not one thing I can suggest you do differently.”
Now you should know that I look much older than I am. I have had white hair for a long time that ages me beyond my years. So my mantra is ‘I am not as old as I look nor as young as I feel.’ Now let that sink in for a moment. I do feel much younger than my age…most of the time.
So what happened today? During my morning run today I tripped and while stumbling forward, fell into the ditch. In so doing I twisted my ankle. At first it was not a big deal and I went to work. By lunch, ankle swollen and throbbing, I could barely walk.
My normal routine is to go by the post office at lunch and that is where I was humbled. I am slowly inching up the sidewalk toward the door. The door that I almost always hold open for others to enter proved to be my moment today. A little ole lady, white hair, probably mid 80’s, likely weighing less than her age, grabbed the door and said, “Here let me get this for you.”
Of course I thanked her and tried to be gracious but ouch, that hurt!
Humility is a funny thing. If you think you are humble you probably are not. It is one of my pet peeves to hear those leading public prayer to say, “As we humbly approach Your throne…” Are we telling GOD of our humility? GOD knows our heart. Only He knows if we are truly humble. We certainly don’t need to tell Him. Maybe a better approach would be “As we approach Your throne help us to do it in a humble fashion that would be pleasing to You.”
Think of the humility of Jesus. Philippians 2:8 reads, “And being found in the appearance as a man, He humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Maybe we should think about this verse before we proclaim our humility before GOD.
1 Peter 5:5 – “GOD resists the proud and gives grace to the humble.” Oh how I need His grace. And I don’t want to be guilty of anything that would cause Him to resist me.
In Luke 18, we read the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector. The tax collector exemplifies humility as we read “and the tax collector would not so much as lift his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast saying, ‘GOD, be merciful to me a sinner’.” And the text ends with “and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
In the Philippians verse above, the text says Christ humbled Himself. The Luke passage makes a reference to humbling oneself. The phrase “humbles himself” is found 4 times in the New Testament. Each time it is emphasizing the need for humility.
I needed the lesson on humility today. But today’s lesson came with quite a bit of pain. And so at least for now, I am not as old as I look and I don’t feel as young as I did this morning.