Humility toward Others

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Greetings again in Jesus’ name. This is Meditation Moments. God bless you again. We love that old-time greeting: God bless you and make you a blessing.

We said last week that we would continue talking to your heart this week again about humility. We were dealing with that verse in Mathew 11:29, where Jesus said that if we would learn of Him, we must be lowly of heart. We were to learn of Him also, because He was lowly in heart, and then we would find rest for our souls.

Humility is a place of such rest and contentment. Everything that Christ ever did, His words, His walk, were always an illustration of humility, and when He chose His disciples He chose the humblest of men. There were a few scholars among them, but they were men that had the grace to learn this virtue.

Even His mother said, “The Lord hath regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden” (Luke 1:48). It wasn’t high position or high-mindedness that made her fit to be the mother of God’s Son, but lowliness and purity.

In the Gospel Jesus prayed thus: “I thank Thee O Father, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes”—that is, to the humble (Mathew 11:25). Christ is here setting forth the statement that only the humble can receive the deepest truths of God.

Remember perhaps what Bunyan said: “It’s hard to get down in the valley of humiliation, for the descent is rugged and rough and steep, but it’s surely a fruitful valley when you get down there.” So much of the Christian suffering and heartaches come because they rebel at being humble in the hands of God.

In Colossians, God’s Word says: “Put on the heart of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering. Forbearing one another and forgiving one another, even as the Lord forgave you.”1 But remember, humility doesn’t consist in just hating oneself, but in not thinking of oneself at all, in thinking of others and revealing to them the humility of Jesus through your life.

Note this wonderful verse: “Doing nothing through faction or vain glory, but in lowliness of mind, each counting other better than himself, having this mind in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who … emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, and humbled himself.”2 That’s in Philippians. “In honor preferring one another, servants one of another, each counting others better than himself, subjecting yourselves one to another.” 3

I wonder if you remember how the disciples disputed, in Luke chapter 9, who would be the greatest in the kingdom. In Luke 9:46, God’s Word says that Jesus set a little child in the midst of them and said, “Whosoever shall humble himself as this little child shall be exalted.”

You’ll remember that they asked, “Who shall be greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” I tell you, that’s a question! And Jesus answered, “He that’s the least among you, the same shall be great.”4 You remember about the sons of Zebedee; they asked Jesus if they could sit on the right hand and the left hand—the highest places in heaven. He told them that was not His to give, but He added, “Whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant, even as the Son of man came to serve.”5 That’s in Matthew 20 and 21.

How few Christians make humility the object of great longing and how little it’s preached! Yet in Luke 18:14, we find this statement: “Everyone that exalteth himself shall be abased, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

So many times I’ve thought of this little illustration of a young preacher. When ascending a platform to preach, he was quite sure of himself, and regarded his sermon as something that was going to be quite a good deal. He had put a great deal of thought into it and he had some well-prepared notes. He was quite sure he was going to make a very good impression on the audience and folks would tell him afterwards what a fine sermon that was.

So he ascended the steps of the platform with his head held high in considerable pride and self-assurance. There wasn’t much need of heavy leaning on the Holy Spirit; he was so sure of himself. But when he got to preaching he couldn’t get his stride. He stumbled and fumbled and he lost his thought at times, and he didn’t feel the anointing of the Lord. So, when he finished, he came down quite different than he had gone up. His head was hanging low, and as he passed a faithful old elder sitting on the front seat, the elder touched his arm and whispered to him: “Oh, son, had ye gone up the way ye came down, ye could have come down the way ye went up!”

External teaching and preaching can’t give humility. It must be the Holy Spirit of God. How much there can be of even active, earnest religion, and yet not Christ-like humility! Grace of humility is surely scarce. God help us to remember that the test of the daily Christian walk is love and humility.

Humility towards others is proof of humility towards God, for the spirit of our lives manifests itself in our bearing towards others in sweet humility. It will surely show up also in unguarded moments. Humility before God is nothing if not proved in humility before men, and in our home life especially.

“Set not your mind on high things, but condescend to those that are lowly.”6 Another verse: “Through love be servants one of another” and “let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another,”7 and then later, “therefore walk with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love.”8

I’ll confess, it’s one of the hardest of lessons to learn, and it’s rarely learned in the schools of men. It has to be learned through fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ, humbling yourself in His presence, learning of Him, as this verse said, meek and lowly of heart, and learning of Him. “Take his yoke upon you and learn of him, and ye shall find rest.”9

When you hear of all the confusion, the doubts and fear in the hearts of men today, remember that He’s promised you rest, if you take His yoke and learn of Him. It doesn’t say you’ll become an advanced thinker or a great intellectual, but if you’ll learn of Him because He is meek and lowly of heart, ye shall find rest for your soul.

God help you to learn some of these wonderful scriptures on humility, and thus draw near to the heart of God. Are you near to His heart? He’s still on the throne. Prayer does change and will change things for you.

  1. Colossians 3:12–13.
  2. Philippians 2:3–8 ASV.
  3. Romans 12:10; 1 Peter 5:5.
  4. Luke 9:46–48.
  5. Matthew 20:27–28.
  6. Romans 12:16.
  7. Galatians 5:13, 26.
  8. Ephesians 4:2.
  9. Matthew 11:29.