Much has been said in recent weeks about the importance of kindness, gentleness, and humility. Often, in our society, these attributes are sorely overlooked and characteristics such as personality, charisma, and eloquence are elevated. I love the way James Baker phrased it when referring to his good friend, Pres. H.W. Bush. He said “He was eloquent in deed.” And the sentiment rings truth…
The quest which began with the earnest desire has come full circle five years this January. And I find myself, ashamedly, still so far from the goal!? So I re-issue the words to my heart. Once again. Knowing, I will undoubtedly fail. But praying, I’ll remember the words.
For the majority of Fall 2018, I studied God’s love. And I found myself asking “Why is loving others such a challenge?” Or more importantly, “Why do I struggle to show His love in word and deed?” The only answer I can reasonably give is an unequivocal, resounding “Self!” My own evil heart grips me as I fail to see others as God sees them; His cherished, image-bearing beloved. That’s right! God loves the abrasive, the offending, the foul-mouthed, the self-righteous, the guilty, the unkind, the _______ (fill in the blank,) and even the most assaulting villain in your world. Any one. And every one.
The Father of all mankind “So loved the world, He gave his only begotten Son…” And in abundant, amazing grace how did Jesus – the Son, the King of Kings, the poster-child for Love incarnate choose to come? He chose to come humble in birth setting the glorious example for the ages of man to see. LOVE came down; the absolute, omnipotent ‘how-to’ in loving others. And He came down for sinners like you and me. So, if we truly believe, how can we continue not to love? And not love, unconditionally!?
“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:7
Like so many others, with each new year, I choose a ‘Word of the Year.’ Through prayer and considerable contemplation, this season of remembrance has brought my chosen word, humility, into much-needed focus. The origins found in the Latin word HUMILIIS meaning “low.” The dictionary defines humility as “a lack of pride or the attitude of having no special importance that makes you better than others.” Talk about an indictment to the condition of one’s heart!? In God’s eyes, true humility lies in the desire to place His greatest commandment forefront in our lives; loving Him and loving others.
My hope (and prayer) is my actions will never cause another to stumble in disbelief. Instead, my soul longs to journey well in humble heart bringing glory to the Father; loving others as He first loved me. Experience tells me I can not ‘make a go’ alone in my own strength. I must accept the challenge. And I must accept it daily. On the hour. Every hour.
Will you join me in 2019!? “To be so full of God’s love, I could not fathom speaking an unkind word or committing an unkind deed.” The never-ending, everlasting LOVE challenge first issued by God, himself, thousands of years ago. If so, I’d love to hear from you.
As I searched for symbols of humility, suddenly, the obvious came to mind. Of course, the manger! What better way to remember!? I found this manger ornament (pictured) by Artist, Cathy Walters. It is exactly what I was looking for. I plan to keep it close throughout the year. If interested, order at the link below.