Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another.
–1 Peter 5:5
Humility resists the need to always be right. Chuck Swindoll tells a story about a Scandinavian couple, Sven and Hulda, who had been married for fifty years. They were dedicated Christians. Sven taught in Sunday school. Hulda sang in the church choir. But they couldn’t get along with one another. They fought like cats and dogs throughout their marriage. And they both felt badly about it. They would pray together every night, and then they would start fighting again. So, one night after their prayer time, Hulda said, “Sven, I think I have the answer to our difficult situation. I think we should both pray that the Lord would call one of us home. Then I can go and live with my sister.” That’s pride, the inability to even fathom the possibility that you might be wrong instead of the other person. When you are in a disagreement with another person–a spouse, a child, a friend, a coworker, or a church member–are you willing to admit that you may not be right? Do you really listen to that person, or are you so busy formulating your next statement that you don’t hear what that person is trying to communicate? A humble person is willing to admit he is wrong. In 1 Peter 5:5-6, Peter wrote, “Clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time.”
Finally, humility views life’s accomplishments and failures from God’s perspective. We tend to go to one of two extremes when we try to evaluate ourselves. One extreme is, “I am so wonderful. How could God and the world ever get along without me?” The other extreme is, “I am nothing but a worm. I can’t do anything.” Neither is a right and proper assessment. For those who tend to think too highly of themselves, the apostle Paul had a sobering word in Romans 12:3: “Through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment.” And then Paul launched into a discussion of spiritual gifts. We are all members of the body of Christ, and each one of us has an important function, and no one function is more important than the other ones. But the other extreme is equally wrong: to think you are nothing but a lowly worm, saying, “I can’t do anything.” It’s true. In John 15:5, Jesus said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing.” But if you are a Christian, you are not apart from Christ. Christ is in you. The Holy Spirit is in you. And 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” That’s why Paul said with confidence, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Humility views life’s accomplishments and failures from God’s perspective.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Choosing Purpose over Aimlessness” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2019.
Charles R. Swindoll, “Swindoll’s Ultimate Book of Illustrations & Quotes” (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2003), 363.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.