Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ingredient # 4 - Humility (Love - part 6)

"...love does not brag and is not arrogant..."
I Corinthians 13:4

These next two actions go together and in the negative we see that we are to put off arrogance but in the positive, we can put it this way - love is humble.  It doesn't brag and it's not arrogant.  In the life of Jesus, this is a very easy picture to paint.  If anyone in the history of the world had cause to brag, it would have been Jesus, right?  

I don't know how many times I've used the line with my children, "I brought you into this world and I and can take you out!"  Of course, it was in a joking manner but the point was to remind them who they were talking to.  Jesus could have used that line and meant it but He never did.  Jesus created the world He stooped down to save, but He was not the picture of arrogance, but rather the picture of humility. He always put the needs of others before Himself as an act of humility, not pride or arrogance. He didn't demand respect but instead gave of Himself to serve. Imagine each scene below and note how you picture Jesus:
  • protecting Moses from His blinding glory
  • allowing Jacob to limp away from a wrestling match with his dignity in tact
  • choosing to discuss with Abraham the future of Sodom and Gomorrah
  • washing the feet of his disciples
  • healing Peter's mother-in-law's fever
  • touching rotting and decaying lepers
  • stopping to acknowledge the hemorrhaging woman
  • calling down the tax collector from a tree
  • allowing the prostitute to wash his feet with her tears
  • healing the ear of the soldier who was leading Him into captivity
  • refusing to demand equality with God, but instead emptying Himself to the point of suffering death on a cross
I could go on and on but I think you get the point. The Almighty Creator set aside His rights and humbly served because of His great love.  Love is nothing without humility.  Let me show you how this fleshes itself out in every day living:
  • Have you ever had to wash up a parent after they had an "accident"?  Love says, you did this for me for years, I can do this now for you.
  • Have you ever given up your seat at church so a family could all sit in the same row? Love says, just because I was here first, isn't a reason to turn a blind eye.
  • Have you ever planned your own birthday party because your family was too busy to remember? Love says, my birthday is just another opportunity to love on my family.
  • Have you ever had your plans interrupted, your advice tossed aside or your needs overlooked?  Love says, I'm flexible, I'm still here and my needs are met by Jesus already.
  • Have you ever been praised, cheered on or highly esteemed?  Love says, I'm simply using my gifts to glorify the Lord. 
Love is not arrogant and does not brag.  It doesn't say, "Don't you know who I am?  Don't you remember what I said?  Don't you know what I'm capable of doing?  Haven't you already seen my greatness? Look at me!"  Rather it says, You before me.  It is a humbling thing to lay down your rights to put the needs of others before you.  

But that's exactly what Jesus did.

He is a King Who became a sacrifice.

As we add ingredients to our love reduction sauce, don't skimp on the humility.  The purest place to find this ingredient is at the foot of the cross. When we compare ourselves to other people, we typically think too highly of ourselves. But when we look at ourselves in light of the cross - when we compare ourself to God - humility should naturally flow from our veins...it's not a hard ingredient to find when you're being honest about yourself before a holy God.  

So spend a lot of time with the Lord and watch your pot fill with humility...

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant...

(What wondrous love is this, O my soul...)

1 comment: