“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”—Ephesians 4:1-3
This is one of the most convicting passages to me, because I am guilty of causing a stir more times than I am guilty of stirring the cause. And if I’m honest, it is often rooted in my pride. “Only by pride,” the Scriptures teach us, “cometh contention;” and most of the time, that pride comes from me.
There is a story about a group of people who went in to see Beethoven’s home in Germany. After the tour guide finished his lecture and showed them Beethoven’s piano, he asked if any of them would like to come play a chord or two at the piano. There was a sudden rush to the piano by everyone except a gray-haired gentleman. The guide finally asked, “Wouldn’t you like to sit down at the piano and play a few notes?” “No,” he answered. “I don’t feel worthy.” That man was Ignacy Paderewski, the great Polish statesman and pianist, and he was the only man in the group truly worthy of playing Beethoven’s piano.
I feel that this is the way many Christians approach the things of God. We rush in and say things, or do things, or post things online, and we have no business doing so. We need a healthy dose of true lowliness and humility. There is much confusion about humility. Humility is not disliking yourself or not believing in yourself. True humility is simply thinking of yourself less. True humility is not putting ourselves down, but rather lifting others up.
Here is one more story from years gone by. When F. B. Meyer pastored Christ Church in London, Charles Spurgeon was at Metropolitan Tabernacle and G. Campbell Morgan was at Westminster Chapel. Meyer said he would often battle the pride formed in his heart against Spurgeon and Morgan. “I find in my own ministry that, supposing I pray for my own little flock, ‘God, bless me. God, fill my pews. God, send my flock a revival.” I miss the blessing; but as I pray for my big brother, Mr. Spurgeon, on the right-hand side of my church, ‘God bless him;’ or my other big brother, Campbell Morgan, on the other side of my church, ‘God bless him;’ I am sure to get a blessing without praying for it, for the overflow of their cups fills my little bucket.”
I don’t want to miss the greater blessing; so instead of surrendering the battle to pride and seeking to discredit what someone else is doing, I choose to live with humility while endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit.