Seeing Others as Christ Sees You
By Jill Briscoe
With all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love. ~ Ephesians 4:2
Do you have a humble estimation of yourself? Do you conduct yourself with perfect “modesty and gentleness” (Moffatt)? Do you accept life with “humility and patience” (Phillips)? To the Greeks, humility was not a virtue. The Greek work for humble denotes “slavish, mean, ignoble.” It was only when Christ came that lowliness became a virtue. Christ’s life and death were service and sacrifice without thought of reputation (see Phil 2:6).
Saul was chosen to be king of Israel party because of his humble attitude. “Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? When then do you speak like this to me?” (1 Sam. 9:21), he said to Samuel the prophet. It was pride that later caused his downfall. Samuel rebuked him with the words, “When you were little in your own eyes, were you not head of the tribes of Israel? And did not the Lord anoint you king over Israel?” (1 Sam. 15:17). Paul, who had many natural reasons to be proud, said, “I am what I am because of the grace of God!”
Meekness is an unreserved, simple-hearted submission under trial. It denotes “the enduring, unwearable spirit which knows how to outlast pain or provocation, a strength learned only at the Redeemer’s feet. It is the noble opposite to the short temper which soon gives way and whose outbursts are only sinful weakness under the thinnest mask” (Moule). Paul tells us to instruct meekly or gently those who oppose us. What do you do when someone opposes you? Do you gently and patiently correct them? How meek are you?