There is a story of a certain corporal and a general over two centuries ago.

The general, as he rode along, saw a group of men trying to move some timber.

They were shorthanded, and the work was not going well.

Their corporal stood by and repeatedly yelled orders at his men.

The general passed by and said, "Why don't you lend them a hand and put your shoulder into it?"

"Why sir," said the lofty corporal, "How can you think of such a thing? Do you know who I am? I am a corporal!"

The general got off his horse, pulled off his coat, and helped the men move the timber, and by his efforts the soldiers achieved their task.

Then the general turned to the high and mighty corporal and said, "Mr. Corporal, next time you need a man to do such work as this, you can send for me, I am General George Washington."

Humility is not thinking too highly of oneself.

This was the attitude of Christ, and we should strive for the qualities of Christ, including humility.

John wrote that

"Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.

After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him." John 13:3-5 (NIV).

Jesus showed humility by performing a task that no one else wanted to do.

He washed the disciples' feet, which was a dirty job, usually performed by the lowest ranking person in the room.

So why is humility so important?

Humility exalts God and others above ourselves, defuses anger, allows us to see the dignity and worth of all God's people, and distinguishes the wise leader from the arrogant power-seeker.

We live in a world that promotes pride by measuring success by the things we accumulate and our social status.

However, it is very clear that God expects us to be humble, regardless of our personal achievements.

Christ was the perfect model of humility.

If we choose to exalt ourselves above others, at some point God will humble us.


Contributed by Jim Patterson
jhpatt@gmail.com

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