A forgotten quality!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

“By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honor, and life.” - Proverbs 22:4

Humility is something that is very rare in our fast pace, “me, myself, and I” society. Oh yes we are courteous to one another, especially around the holiday seasons. However, do we look for and consider other people as having a greater intellect or a better experience whereby we can learn from them, or do we have all the answers? Recently a brother in the Lord made a statement to me about how there are times when we talk to one another and there is always that person who has a bigger story or a greater experience than anyone else and they try to out talk people. Yet humility not only esteems other people higher than themselves (Philippians 2:3), but it also puts up with such braggadocios and shortsighted people.

Consider the renowned black educator, Booker T. Washington. He is an outstanding example of humility. Shortly after he took over the presidency of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, he was walking in an exclusive section of town where a wealthy white woman stopped him. Not knowing the famous Mr. Washington by sight, she asked if he would like to earn a few dollars by chopping wood for her. Professor Washington had no pressing business at the moment, so he rolled up his sleeves and proceeded to do the humble chore she requested. When he was finished, he carried the logs into the house and stacked them by the fireplace. He did not tell anyone who he was or what he did, but a little girl recognized him and revealed his identity to the lady.

The next morning the embarrassed woman went to see Mr. Washington in his office at the institute and apologized profusely. “It is all right madam,” he replied. “Occasionally I enjoy a little manual labor. Besides, it’s always a delight to do something for a friend.” She shook his hand warmly and assured him that his humble and gracious attitude had endeared him and his work to her heart.

Not long afterward she showed her admiration by persuading some wealthy acquaintances to join her in donating thousands of dollars to the Tuskegee Institute.

Many times in the gospels we read of Jesus teaching and instructing His disciples in this age-old God honoring quality of humility. Yet humility is a forgotten quality in our society simply because it is looked upon as being weak minded, vulnerable, and powerless. Despite the world’s opinion, our scripture teaches us that the LORD honors humility in a variety of ways. Three of such are listed - riches, honor, and life. Occasionally there may be times that the LORD will bless a truly humble person with all three. Nevertheless a truly humble person does not desire humility for greatness or gain, but rather for personal growth so they can do for others.

David C. Hale, Pastor Email: reasons4believing@gmail.com