Jesus’ disciples asked him an interesting question one day:
Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? – Matthew 18:1
I wonder what kind of answers they were expecting. Maybe they were all hoping that He would choose them. After all, they walked with Him and talked with Him and were able to ask Him questions like this. They were His “inner circle.” I am sure His answer shocked them.
Jesus called a little child to Him and set him in their midst, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself like this little child is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 18:2-4
Humility can be hard to find these days. In an age of self-promotion, self-importance, self-centeredness and general selfishness, humility is sadly lacking. Humility must be intentional in our lives. It doesn’t come natural to most of us. We live in a world where we are told we must assert ourselves, brand ourselves, make ourselves great, rise to the top. We raise our children to be great—top of the class, best in first grade field day, most accomplished in piano or art or tennis. I did it, too. After all, we don’t want to be sloths lying around doing nothing, or raise lazy children who have nothing to aspire to in life.
We have things to do, places to go, people to see. Many of us have a sense of calling that God has put in our hearts of what we must do or become. So how do we balance it all? Humility is the key. We must come to Jesus every day and humble ourselves in prayer, acknowledging that we need Him, that we need His power working in and through our lives to do that which He has called us to do.
I think the song I learned as a child sums it up so well.
“Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong. They are weak, but He is strong.”
May we all live and walk in humility all the days of our lives, looking to Jesus with childlike faith and knowing that our strength comes from Him, and all the glory for any accomplishments we may have belong to Him and Him alone.
Deborah Murrell lives in Nashville and Manila. She is the co-founder of Every Nation Churches and Ministries with her husband, Steve. She also co-pastors Victory Church in Manila which has churches in 60 cities throughout the Philippines.