“Likewise, you younger men [of lesser rank and experience], be subject to your elders [seek their counsel]; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another [tie on the servant’s apron], for God is opposed to the proud [the disdainful, the presumptuous, and He defeats them], but He gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5 AMP).
How God Taught A Pastor Humility
A few years ago, I attended a Church service in Hillbrow, Johannesburg to listen to a Pastor’s testimony after he and a team of missionaries returned from visiting another African country. In his address to the congregation, the pastor described in detail the humble way of life of the locals, he complained about the type of food, the straw bedding, clay utensils, and the condition of the houses with no ablution facilities. By reliving his experience, the pastor explained jokingly how he would get up during the night and complaining bitterly against God saying, ‘God, I am not impressed with you for allowing me to live in these conditions, was it for this that you send me here?’ In addition, he further explained how resentful his heart grew against God and that he longed the comfort of his home and to be away from his God ordained assignment.
However, as he narrated his experience the pastor sensed the love of the Lord for all people, despite their socio-economic circumstances. He also realised how the rich and powerful often forgets the plight of the very poor and needy avoiding their company or being unable to render a service to them. Being greatly moved by the Lord, the contentment and appreciation the pastor saw in the eyes and faces of the locals made him feel even guiltier for acting like such an ungrateful spoilt-brat. Holding back his tears of not only having seen hardship with contentment (1 Timothy 6:8), but also experiencing hardship the pastor opened his heart to the Lord and humbled himself to serve and endure for the remainder of his service to the needy there.
A Front Of False Humility
Now, being humble is not a matter of talk but it is a real hearts condition (Philippians 2:5-8; Matthew 20:26-28). To be humble requires us to be patience, tolerant, merciful, and forgiving and to be full of abundant love and I know we humans fail this test. What renders this true is that we often consider what others would think of us (our social class) if we serve them in the name of the Lord. Brethren, let me truthfully share with you, the moment we become aware that our work in the Lord is burdensome and we despise those we serving it is no longer for the Lord we doing it for or serving but for our own interest to receive recognition (Matthew 6:1-21).
Additionally, we have observed how the ‘people taking advantage theory’ puffed up some Christians; in fact their ‘humility’ is more a facade or an act than an actual Christ like heart condition of serving others. As it is, such Christians always feel ‘robbed’, they feel they are burdened and doing more than what they are supposed to do. Thus my ever complaining brother or sister ask yourself, are you really doing enough? Or should we not be the carriers of God’s renewed, invigorated and unconditional love that is ready to give and serve to fulfil the longings of a needy person(s) so that they feel the effect of a ‘touched by God’ experience (Lamentations 3:22-23; Matthew 25:31-40).
Furthermore, given to the Lord’s Judgement of the righteous and the wicked in the book of (Matthew 25:31-40), we should not think for a moment that those who will be standing on His right hand side will be there without merit, having heard and experienced the Lord ourselves as a family and ministry, we can tell you the good and Godly deeds of a true Christian is well followed and sealed by the Lord (Hebrews 6:10; Acts 10:31). Moreover, we implore you dear brethren not to just live for the moment and think this day of reckoning and blessing will never come, in fact that DAY is definite and that DAY is earmarked to either shame us or to exalt us in the Presence of the Lord and all those present (Matthew 25:31-40).
We give Either Our All Or Nothing
From our experiences with the Lord, we can add that it greatly displeases Him when a Christian complains to do something for Him. Sometime ago, the Lord assigned somebody in our ministry to do something for Him and at first the individual went about the Lord’s tasks willingly and with great enthusiasm thinking it might end sooner. As the person continued in his tasks and see that this has been going on for a good number of months, the brother concerned started losing interest in his tasks. As a reminder, the Lord rebuked the brother for being disobedient and that his commitment in doing the Lord’s tasks had no specified timeframe.
As it was, the Lord reminded the brother that his service to those he was called to serve was not just for them, but for Him (Matthew 25:40). Like we said, such lack of humility hurt the Lord and this led Him (The Lord Jesus Christ) to tell the brother not to continue in the tasks the Lord gave him. How sad! Now just how many Christians do we know who commits themselves to serve others in ministry, giving or in any other service in the name of the Lord only for them to ‘chicken out’. For the Bible reminds us that, “Anyone who starts to plow and then keeps looking back is of no use for the Kingdom of God" (Luke 9:62 GNB). Now brethren, we learned from the Lord that humility should be applied to our commitment to serve (Romans 12:3-8). If we use ‘clever’ reasoning to justify our lack of commitment to the service we were called to do, God knows the real reasons of our heart and He will expose our feeble humility that had no roots in love (1 Corinthians 16:14).
In conclusion, Do you see a brother or sister pursuing his fellow brethren in Christ for his or her own benefit without regard for the Lord? That is reflective of a selfish and unloving Christian who derives pleasure in humiliating others. Do you hear or see a brother or sister having an answer to everything to showcase superiority? Well, they are driven by self-interest and what matter is their gain. Do you see a brother or sister in Christ being impatient and pushy? Hmmm, that is an expression of NO respect for others! Can such dastardly behaviour be equated to humility? Never! Christ our Lord died to free us from sins and self-exaltation and to have His Peace (Colossians 3:15-17).
Have you given up on being humble? Repent and pursue humility, for the Scriptures say only the humble will be exalted (Matthew 23:12). Don't you want that? For those who are not yet born again, please pray this