Archive for November, 2013

Ith grew up in East Texas. It’s not like other parts of Texas, more deep south than west I guess. Instead of flat plains, tumbleweeds, deep canyons, and big skies there are rolling hills and tall pines. I now live in the Ozark Mountains of Northwest Arkansas where we have four seasons; in Texas there seem to be just two, hot and not as hot. I remember summers when you didn’t want to leave the air conditioning for anything, where just getting out of your car to walk across the parking would require a water jug. I mean, it was hot. My uncle told me how he once picked up a hitchhiker in the middle of that kind of heat and when the young man got in the truck my uncle said, “It’s too hot to be walking.” To which the young man replied, “Oh sir, it ain’t the heat, it’s the humility.”

I’ll let that sink in for a minute…

While he certainly meant “humidity” instead of “humility” his statement has not only caused me to laugh a little, it’s also given me something to think about. There are situations that we all face in life that will cause us to be humble, whether we want to be or not. There are always those circumstance that remind us that we’re not “all that” after all. We’re just people, trying to make our way through this life. We all have our ups and downs, our victories and defeats, our successes and failures. Sometimes we get it right and sometimes we goof up. We all experience humility at times. It’s part of life, and while it may not be enjoyable, it’s not a bad thing either. Humility, being humble, is a good character trait to have, it’s a godly character trait that’s born out of humbling experiences. I recently had the opportunity to think about this trait as I have been preaching through the Gospel of Matthew with my congregation.

We are now in Matthew 5 and are spending some time in what’s called “The Beatitudes” which refer to the first 12 verses, the opening statement of Jesus’ “Sermon on the Mount”. These verses contain nine statements that begin with “Blessed are…” The word “blessed” actually means “happy”. Jesus is teaching those who would be His followers how to be happy. What we are learning is that true happiness comes from knowing God through faith in Christ and experiencing His presence and work in our lives. Part of that experience is learning humility. In verse 5 Jesus says, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

humilityThe meek are those who have learned to be humble. He is in essence saying, “Happy are the humble.” To be humble is to have a right attitude about who you are in relation to God and to other people. The humble person is one who has experienced brokenness over sin and forgiveness in Christ and as a result is able and willing to show that same grace to others. It’s a gentleness of character that should be a trait of all those who call themselves followers of Christ.

I’ll admit, I often fail at this and it bother’s me. Maybe realizing that in and of itself is part of the humbling experience. I certainly hope so. Realizing a failure, being broken over sin certainly isn’t pleasant, but it is a necessary part of the process and with God, the end result is always worth it. Like a wise man once said, “It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility.”