Ancient church mothers and fathers often greeted one another with the phrase, “Give me a word.” This greeting led to the sharing of insights and wisdom. Today we continue this tradition with this monthly column.
By Mandy Sayers
Lead Pastor, Glen Mar UMC, Ellicott City
"And mark that you do this with humility and discipline — not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love…"
Ephesians 4:3 (The Message)
Humility is not a virtue that gets lifted up much these days. The humble, it seems, will get run over by the steamroller of partisan politics and cruel social media threads. When’s the last time humility actually got promoted as a value worth having, anyway? “Look at her…she’s so poised and confident — she’s so strong and so smart and so…humble…”
However, we need and we use humility more than we might think. When our children, 26 months apart, were growing up, we insisted that they learn how to forgive after an argument. I would often pull the car over and refuse to move until reconciliation happened. I did this because 1) they will select my nursing home someday, and 2) after Eric and I go to glory, they will need each other, so they need to value their relationship first over whatever disagreement they have. That means learning how to fight, apologize, forgive and be reconciled — impossible without humility.
Without humility, it would be impossible to be married, or even to be friends, because each person would always put their own needs first. There would be endless fights over who was right about every single thing — there would be the need to fight everything out and win. There would be no peace in families or in churches without
“Pouring yourselves out for each other” requires humility. Just allowing that we might be wrong about anything, creates space for humility. Or, what if we were “right” but we didn’t need to be “right?” Some of the most humble people I know are so in love with Jesus and with their brothers and sisters in Christ that they value other things even more than being “right.” Like being a family, or being friends, or being in a relationship.
Humility is a way to be like Jesus and to promote health in the family or even in the church. I enjoy being right about most anything — but it turns out, in my life and my walk with God, I’ve found “being right” isn’t nearly as good as “being together.”