“Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic,
love one another, be compassionate and humble”
1 Peter 3:8 (NIV)
“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance:
Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—
of whom I am the worst.”
1 Timothy 1:15 (NIV)
“God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.”
James 4:6 (NIV)
In the past couple of decades we have been witnessing some arrogant behaviour on the part of certain people who have risen from obscurity to national or international prominence. This has also come with significant wealth that the person did not have before. This offensive behaviour is often called “entitlement”. Such people think they are above the law. They believe they deserve special treatment.
This warped mindset has even been in Christianity from the time of Jesus on. In the Gospels we read of disciples who had their mother come to Jesus asking that her sons might sit at His right and left sides in His coming kingdom. The sons assured Jesus that they were able to meet any challenge that came their way (Matthew 20:20-22). Such arrogance in Christian leadership persists to this day.
In the Graeco-Roman world of Jesus’ time humility was not a virtue, rather it was seen as a weakness. Hence, when Peter urged his readers to be humble it was an unpopular thing to do.
There is no place in Christianity for proud people who regard themselves as more important than others. Everyone is made in the image of God and should be treated with appropriate respect.
If you find yourself sensing that someone is inferior to you because of education, social status or other measure, it needs to be resisted firmly.
I once visited one of poorest countries in the world. As I witnessed the remarkably contented spirits of the very poor believers, I was rebuked and learned a lot about being content with what I had. After all, I had so much more in material goods than those wonderful believers even dreamed of possessing.
So, a most appropriate admonition comes from Peter,
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand,
that he may lift you up in due time…”
1Peter 5:6 (NIV).
Never forget our Lord’s description of Himself when He said,
“I am gentle and humble in heart”
It is enough that the disciple be like their Master.