I’ve been thinking lately about humility and would like to have a metaphorical raising of hands. How many of you consider yourselves humble and are darn proud of that! Raise those hands. So—maybe we should all reflect more on this subject.
We pay lip service to the need to be humble, but practicing that virtue is another matter. We have lots of books on how to achieve wealth, fame, and success, but none, that I know of, on achieving humility. I remember Ernest Hemingway describing a village in southern Spain. He wrote, “They were a humble folk, with every reason to be.”
We know that the Bible condemns pride more than any other sin, by far, and that Jesus once taught “blessed are the meek.” As one who has more love than talent for linguistics, I can tell you that most words have a range of meanings, which can cause much confusion and miscommunication. “Meek” is one such example.
For most of us, “meek” implies someone who does not assert themselves. I was once teaching a group of teenagers in Guatemala, and not getting near the energy and interplay for which I had hoped. Finally, in exasperation, I said to them, “Guys, I feel like a lion in a den of Daniels.”
We have no idea how much Greek, Jesus actually spoke. Under times of great stress (like on the cross) he spoke only Aramaic, but Matthew spent a lot of time with Jesus and when he wrote “blessed are the meek,” he used the Greek word “praus” (prah-oos΄). In that time, when a horse passed the conditioning required to be a war horse in the Roman army, it was described as “praus.” It had power under authority and strength under control.
Imagine how it would feel, if we were appreciative of what God had done in our life and were comfortable with knowing our strengths and weaknesses. Imagine if we felt the power of being under God’s authority and having our strength under godly control. Imagine how wonderful it would feel to have zero need for pride or self justification.
In the crazy times in which we live, be like a warhorse—just don’t smell like one.