A couple weeks back, I looked at this same passage.
This morning, I find I am back again, zeroing in on the word "humble."
Jesus invites us, not just to take up His yoke, not just to discover a sweet rest for our souls, but He invites us into this aspect of His character -
As He invites us, He says, "Let me teach you..."
Believe me, above all character traits, I need this one (more on that in a minute)!
According to Andrew Murray (Humility, 1884):
"Jesus came to bring humility back to earth, to make us sharers in it, and by it to bring us salvation."
Why? Because humility was lost to us in the Garden, when the enemy of our souls injected the venom of pride into mankind.
Recently I received an invitation to speak at an upcoming women's retreat in another state.
The committee for this retreat audaciously picked this topic of humility as their theme for the weekend.
I should have known this might prove a dangerous journey of study as soon as they mentioned it...but, found myself feeling led to accept regardless.
As soon as I agreed, the same ugly serpent from the Garden reared his head, sinking his teeth into my soul..
Allow me to explain.
As I accepted the opportunity, the women's ministry director started spelling out the particulars for the weekend. In a previous conversation, I had been told there would be three sessions over Saturday and Sunday; however, when we began nailing down the details, it became clearer to me that the gal at the head of the committee took the first two sessions, and I closed out with the third.
My train of thought as this unfolded:
"But, I don't really like the "one and done" events...I feel more comfortable when I have time to build relationship with the ladies who are in attendance."
"I'll be driving 10 hours, two ways, for just one speaking time?"
"I've never been asked to speak at a retreat where the speaking sessions were divided, and, how do we maintain a flow and build on the theme adequately?"
"Actually, this feels a bit demeaning....like they don't trust me??????????"
And, voilá...just like that the poison of pride coursed it's way through me...
Yes, sweet Jesus, teach me to be more like you.
With that backdrop, I started digging (deeply) into a study on pride, and it's opposite - humility.
Some things I've learned about pride:
Considered the "original sin" in Scripture with Satan's fall, pride is listed as the most serious of all sins, and #1 on the list of the Seven Deadly Sins, first published as far back as the 6th Century.
It's the most serious, for from it all other sins spring forth...
When employed, at pride's core, one is really saying,
"I want to be like God...no, I want to replace God...in fact, I want to be God."
That alone puts pride at the top of the sin-list...
In Mere Christianity, CS Lewis writes about pride that it is:
"the anti-God-state, the position in which ego and self are directly opposed to God. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunken-ness, and all that, are mere fleabites in comparison..."
This thought is,,,,well, just, WOW!
Through pride, the devil became the devil...and, we are never more like the enemy of our souls, than when selfish pride gets in our way.
I also found this Benjamin Franklin quote worth contemplating:
Needless to say, as I am just beginning my study, I've been deeply CONVICTED...
BUT (what a great word)!!!!!
There is good news.
There is an anti-venom for pride - it's costly, however, as most anti-venoms are:
The cross of Christ provides the basis for humility:
Living in the shadow of the cross...in a place of total dependence on God...
Quoting Andrew Murray, once again:
Too many of us don't realize how wonderful and natural it is to become nothing, so Jesus can be our all in all... We haven't been taught that it isn't sin that humbles us most, but GRACE!
To rightly see ourselves in light of Christ's death for us, undeserving as we are of His great mercy extended toward us, sets us up to maintain a humble perspective.
The greats of old certainly understood the need for Christians to walk humbly before their God...
We live in an era, where we must consider it more than anything.