Monday, April 15, 2013

Recapturing the Meaning of Humility as a Minister

I recently began reading the book, Humility: The Beauty of Holiness, by Andrew Murray on mystudybible.com.  In the Preface, Murray describes three "great motives that urge us to humility":
  1. The humility of Christ who emptied Himself and took on the form of a servant.
  2. The humility we experience when we realize our fallen state before a Holy God.
  3. The humility response to grace when we "lose ourselves in the overwhelming greatness of redeeming love."
He goes on to explain that often we focus on the second aspect so much that we feel as if humility is discovered through self-condemnation. He states so clearly the challenge to us all to remember the first and third acts of humility:
If Jesus is indeed to be our example in His lowliness, we need to understand the principles in which it was rooted, and in which we find the common ground on which we stand with Him, and in which our likeness to Him is to be attained. If we are indeed to be humble, not only before God but towards men, if humility is to be our joy, we must see that it is not only the mark of shame, because of sin, but, apart from all sin, a being clothed upon with the very beauty and blessedness of heaven and of Jesus. We shall see that just as Jesus found His glory in taking the form of a servant, so when He said to us, "Whosoever would be first among you, shall be your servant," (Matthew 23:11) He simply taught us the blessed truth that there is nothing so divine and heavenly as being the servant and helper of all. The faithful servant, who recognizes his position, finds a real pleasure in supplying the wants of the master or his guests. When we see that humility is something infinitely deeper than contrition, and accept it as our participation in the life of Jesus, we shall begin to learn that it is our true nobility, and that to prove it in being servants of all is the highest fulfillment of our destiny, as men created in the image of God. (Humility, Preface)
Father,  our business and ministry culture seems to be focusing so much on building "brands" and personal reputations. We are encouraged to build a name for ourselves so others will follow us. We think that, in order to influence others, our name must become a "brand." I pray we will live in a way so that our lives will build up Your name as we humbly serve others in Your name. It is not about how many follow us but about how many follow You!