“The humble man has learned the secret of abiding gladness. The weaker he feels, the lower he sinks, the greater his humiliations appears, the more power and the presence of Christ are his portion, until, as he says, "I am nothing," the word of his Lord brings even deeper joy...it is indeed blessed, the deep happiness of heaven, to be so free from self that whatever is said of us or done to us is lost and swallowed up in the thought that Jesus is all.” (Humility: The Beauty of Holiness by Andrew Murray, p. 86, 89).
I’ve noticed an interesting way of describing people in many of the places that we minister. I’ve met face-to-face with Christians in over three dozen countries, and I am surprised at how many times I hear someone described as a “humble” person.
I remember traveling across an Asian country with one of our field leaders. It soon became apparent that the highest compliment he could give someone was that they were “humble.”
Just last week, I received news from Colombia that a bold, 33 year-old evangelist had been brutally murdered, leaving a wife and two children, aged five and three behind. The testimony about his life was marked by the word “humble.” This man boldly shared the hope of Christ in a “Red Zone” (guerilla controlled region) and he knew that it was risky. I watched a video clip of him saying that “there is no greater love than for a man to lay down his life for his friends.” Christ was worth everything to this humble man.
What strikes me most about this is that I rarely hear an American describe their friend, or one of their colleagues, or even their pastor as a “humble” person.
Are we missing something in our culture? Has the biblical virtue of humility been lost in the sea of social media and self-promotion?
A couple of years ago, our Executive Vice President, Cole Richards, asked all of our Regional Directors to read a classic book by Andrew Murray. It is simply titled “Humility: The Beauty of Holiness” ($1.99 on Kindle). As I read the book, I was deeply convicted. In fact, it was one step on my own path to eliminating my Facebook and Twitter accounts — and that step alone has been a remarkable gift!
May God help each one of us to pursue humility, so that Jesus will be made famous in every nation! As John said during the earliest years of Jesus’ ministry, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).
Dr. Jason Peters serves in VOM’s International Ministries department, traveling frequently to meet with our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. Jason and Kimberly have been married for over twenty years, and have five children who are actively engaged in standing with their persecuted family members.
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