** Put on therefore, as the elect of God…..humbleness of mind. ** Colossians 3:12
Do you find humility to be one of the most elusive of all the fruit of the Spirit like I do? Pride, arrogancy, self-will, self-sufficiency and an independent spirit are all second nature to all of us. Humility takes some heavy duty work from the Spirit of God.
For Moses, he had to commit murder and wander in the desert for nearly 80 years before the Lord was able to record that **Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth. **
Nebuchadnezzar had to lose his mind and his senses as a human being before he was able to humble himself before the Lord and recognize that he was nothing compared to the greatness of the Creator of the Universe.
And Paul, he learned humility through shipwrecks, beatings, being stoned and left for dead more than once, being imprisoned multiple times.
I wonder what it would take in our lives to make us humble?
I think of Paul as a spiritual father to all of us. He writes to us to encourage us in the faith, but also to admonish us and instruct us for the things we still need to learn. In our last two posts, in this same letter to the Colossians, he speaks to us about being merciful and kind to each other. Today, he adds humbleness of mind.
Humbleness of mind seems to be the perfect complement to the first two qualities. If we have learned to be merciful and kind, doesn’t it seem like a logical, supernatural step to need humbleness of mind? If we aren’t being merciful, we might be judging someone. If we aren’t being kind, we may be treating someone like they are our servant. So, humbleness of mind (humility) is essential to completing the other two. We need to recognize our own shortcomings in order to treat someone else with mercy and kindness. We have to see ourselves as flawed.
Humility means that we are able to reign in our high and mighty thinking and keep our own ego in check. It means we can curb our thoughts of self-importance. It means that we can be sensitive to the other person’s feelings and needs instead of just looking out for our own.
Being merciful and kind requires us to know how to approach others carefully, peacefully, and with gentleness. Arrogance will give us a condemning, superior approach to others. Arrogance is the opposite of humbleness of mind.
Arrogance is like a monster truck. Humbleness of mind is a Toyota.
**…Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility…**
** Put on …..humbleness of mind…**
One last thought, I think Paul is talking about a mindset, a complete transformation of who we think we are. Being humble once in a while is admirable, but humbleness of mind is a way of life. It is being conscious all the time of who we are and who the Lord is and recognizing that we just can’t compare ourselves with Him. He is a mountain of glory and we are a pebble of dust.
Humbleness of mind. A worthy goal for all of us.