Saturday, October 11, 2008

Matthew 18:1-6 "As a Little Child"

Read Matthew 18:1-6.

"Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." NIV
Isn't it interesting how often a person of humility is equated with weakness? Therefore, it's not a trait that is sought after because no one wants to appear weak. Yet, the strongest people I've ever met were the most humble. Their strength came not in shows of bravado, but in a quiet strength that exuded from their countenance. You just knew their power was not set in bronze, but in malleable clay.

Jesus uses the example of a child. I imagine that he was able to use an older child than we'd be able to use today. Our children have been forced to grow thick skin at an earlier age because of the violence they are exposed to, the lack of respect and manners in the schools, and the anger and fear that is so prevalent in our society. You don't have to go back too far to find some innocence in the children though. When I was substitute teaching about twenty years ago, the place I hated to be in the very most was the teacher's lounge. The bitterness and cynicism was so evident and plentiful that it was enough to create another being in the room. I just wanted to be in the classroom with the innocence of the children around me. Their skin was thinner, tenderer. Their hearts open and receptive. They were trusting and kind. I never saw them as weak other than in their stature. They had a strength about them in their curiosity and faith in people.

That is where God wants us to be. Not some mamby-pamby weaklings that are walked all over by a liberal society. But innocent to the point of complete trust in our Lord while carrying a quiet strength of wisdom all the while knowing that our faith is in the Almighty Creator of the Universe who loves us so much. Anyone is capable of lashing out; it takes strength to have restraint, humility to have power.

Further Thoughts:
  1. Is pride a thorn that spurs you on? Why is that? Why do you fight humility before the Lord and others? Ask the Father to reveal this to you so you can eliminate this barrier.
  2. One ability of a child is to sit quietly and marvel at something. Have you lost that ability? When was the last time you sat and quietly contemplated the beauty of a tree, the sound of the wind, or a particular verse in the Bible. It's in those quiet times of meditation and reflection that the Lord can speak volumes. It's an attitude of humility that opens the door.
  3. Read through this Scripture from the wisdom books on pride. Now read these passages on humility/humble.

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