Humility is Good!

Last week we talked about the importance of persistent prayer.  This week’s readings help us with creating the proper attitude for life and for prayer – humility.

In the reading from Sirach (34:12-14, 16-18), there is beautifully comforting language to ease our minds and souls. “The Lord is a God of justice, who knows no favorites.”  In a world that seems to show partiality to the rich, beautiful and popular, we can take comfort in knowing that God sees us as equals. You and I are always valuable in God’s eyes.

For those of us who sometimes question whether or not our prayers are heard, we’re told that, “the prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds; it does not rest till it reaches its goal, nor will it withdraw till the Most High responds, judges justly and affirms the right, and the Lord will not delay.”  Yes, God listens to our prayers. Yes, we receive a response. We may not always like the response we receive, but we will get a response. When talking and praying to God, we’re seeking higher counsel.  Isn’t it a good thing when we receive what’s best for us even when it’s different from what we were seeking?

Paul’s letter to Timothy (2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18) gives us the language of an athlete to have us feel confident in our faith.  Paul writes to Timothy that, “I have competed well; I have finished the race: I have kept the faith.”  Paul knows that he’s approaching his death and feels like a runner who know that she gave it all for 26.2 miles.  What a great feeling it is to go through life knowing that you’ve always done your best. We are not perfect, but we lived life as well as we could in constant communication with God.

Paul goes on to say that, “From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance.”  Again, the athlete is ready to receive the crown of righteousness (the laurel wreath awarded to athletes) after running the faith-filled raced called life.  And he tells us that we can do the same exact thing! Let God’s Word live in your heart and let it be on your lips. Stay connected to God every day with prayer. Be an active member of the Body of Christ in each encounter with others on a daily basis as you serve others with your gifts.

Have you longed for his appearance? Prayer, meditation and scripture reading are ways to unite with God and invite God into you life each and every day.

For those of us who are living fear-based lives, Paul closes out today’s reading with an uplifting prayer of hope, “The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat and will bring me safe to his heavenly kingdom.”  With that belief running our lives, what can we possibly be afraid of? That line is exactly why our faith overcomes fear.

Our instruction on prayer is continued in Luke’s Gospel (Luke 18:9-14) when he instructs us to pray with humility in the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector.

Many of us are like the Pharisee in this parable in that we think that we’re leading pretty good Christian lives.  The Pharisee prays, “O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity–greedy, dishonest, adulterous– or even like this tax collector.”  Instead of admitting his sins and imperfection and humbly asking for God’s help, he compares himself with others and really likes what he sees.

The Pharisee goes on to fill-God-in on what a great person he is, “I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.”  See how great I am God!  Look at how wonderful I am!  For those of us who pray, fast and tithe, we might see our reflection in the words of the Pharisee.

The tax collector sets the example of humility by praying, “O God, be merciful to me a sinner.”  He has the faith and humility to know that he can be forgiven for his very real sins. He knows that he is far from perfect and is dependent upon God for the strength to persevere and the power to improve.

So what’s the message from Luke? Pray, fast, tithe, serve and remain humble. Remember that Salvation is God’s free gift to us.

“For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”  Let’s choose humility.

Related Articles:

Post Footer automatically generated by Add Post Footer Plugin for wordpress.

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply