Speaking to the Soul – January 21

A short reading and prayer for today

Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.
Romans 12:3 NLT

It is vital for all of us to have a true understanding of ourselves. If we go around with an inflated view of our own importance, the whole of life will look distorted. Relationships will be damaged, and we will add layers of difficulty to everyday life. But it is just as damaging to have too low a view of ourselves. If we go into the day feeling that we are unimportant and don’t count, then we are liable to be steam-rollered by the smallest of difficulties. What we need is an accurate understanding of who we are and that’s what we gain by faith. As we place our trust in God we learn that we are made in his image and that we are of infinite worth. Nothing that we do is unimportant when we know that the Holy Spirit is filling us and directing our actions.

The apostle Paul is clearly very concerned about this subject and presents it to the Roman church in the shape of a warning at the beginning of this section on living the Christian life. He knew the destructive power of arrogance, and was aware that it could creep into any area of life including the church. The moment anyone claims that they know best, there are problems. That’s why God is so firmly opposed to arrogance. Proverbs tells us that “the Lord detests the proud” (16.5) and warns us that “pride goes before destruction and haughtiness before a fall” (16.18). God invites us to live a life of humility which means that, however strongly we might feel about a subject, we are always ready to learn, and always willing to admit that we might be wrong. Jesus couldn’t possibly have been clearer on the subject. When the disciples asked him who was the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven, he called for a little child and said that unless they changed and became like little children, they would never be able to gain entry. I suspect that that was the last response they were expecting from Jesus. Time and again the disciples were in competition with one another, but they needed to learn that humility was the key to blessing in God’s kingdom. And it still is.


In whose life have you seen true humility?


Lord God, help me to learn more today about living humbly before you. Amen

Photo – Silver Birch