One day in 1976 Former NBC news anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News Tom Brokaw who is now a special correspondent for NBC was wandering through Bloomingdale’s in New York, shortly after he was promoted to co-host of the Today Show. Brokaw worked hard for years, and now to be the co-host of the Today Show was almost beyond his wildest dreams. He was feeling pretty good about himself. As he shopped, he noticed a man watching him and thought to himself, “Oh God, that man recognizes me. He is probably going to ask me for my autograph”
Finally, when the man approached him, he pointed his finger at him and said, you’re “Tom Brokaw, right? You used to do the morning news on KMTV in Omaha”
“That’s right,” Brokaw replied enthusiastically with pen in hand. However, there was an awkward silence when the man paused for a moment and with a very puzzling look on his face instead of requesting his autograph as Mr. Brokaw thought he would the man asked, “Whatever happened to you anyway?”
One of the most important lessons, we can hope to learn, if not at least understand, through our physical journey, is that of humility. The truth is that power will become corrupt in the absence of humility. Without a sense of humility, we cannot stand true towards using our power responsibly. As a well known super hero once said, “With great power comes great responsibility”.
Humility is the one grace that, as soon as you declare you have it, you have lost it. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Savior, the King of Kings, was a humble man. It has been said “He was a man of no reputation,” Nothing about His appearance or manner suggested divinity. The apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians that it would please him (and God as well) if the Philippians would become humble men and women, in imitation of Jesus Himself.
Jesus warned the people of the Pharisees who were the religious leaders of the day He said they did not practice what they preached. Addressing Himself to them and to His own disciples, Jesus solemnly warned them concerning the scribes and Pharisees. This discourse, as a whole, is found only in Matthew. Jesus went on to point out their hypocrisy and commanded the people, “But do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not”. He then cited the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. “Everything they do is done for man to see. They love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues. They love to be greeted in marketplaces and to have men call them rabbi.” (Matthew 23:5-7) Their own works were so they would be recognized, and applauded by men rather than God.
Pride is a Christian’s greatest enemy. It inclines us to depend on our own understanding and not to seek God’s will in all that we do. As Christians, we are always learning to say, “I can’t live up to this demand, I can’t do this thing that is asked of me; but He can, therefore I can.”
True humility is the freedom from false pride and arrogance. It is the absolute knowing that the personal ego-centered self is powerless.
Humility is the constant reminder that, “By myself I can do nothing” (John 5:30).
” … It is the Father living in me, who is doing his work.” (John 14:10).
Living life from a point of false pride and arrogance closes the doors to new opportunities, friendships and peace of mind.
Abraham Lincoln was a picture of humility. He once said, “I cannot conceive that a man could look up into the heavens and say there is no God.” Saying goodbye to friends and family in Springfield, Ill., on his way to Washington to assume the presidency, he again acknowledged his humility and his great love for the creator. “Without divine assistance I cannot succeed; with it I cannot fail,” he said.
Obviously God knows how easily I can be “impressed with [my] own wisdom” (Proverbs 3:7) and desire that my best efforts be noticed and rewarded. As my loving Father, He corrects me (Proverbs 3:11-12).
So, when you receive a disparaging remark for your best effort, stop and consider is my loving Father teaching me a lesson in humility?
Jesus exercised power and authority and he gave all honor, power, and glory to God the Father. When we do the same, the peace of God will be our treasure to have, hold, and enjoy.