The apostle Peter, in his first letter to the church that was scattered throughout the many regions of the known world, instructed, “and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 1Peter 5:5b
Humility is a trait that is sometimes misunderstood and sometimes rejected and disdained, but clearly it is one that is pleasing to God. When I think about humility, I reflect on the type of person who typifies a humble servant and the actions found in their daily lives. Sometimes we find it in the last place we think it would be found. Such is the case of a letter I read recently in a biography of one I consider a great statesman and leader.
“Your resignation of the office of Secretary of the Treasury, sent me yesterday, is accepted. Of all I have said in commendation of your ability and fidelity, I have nothing to unsay; and yet you and I have reached a point of mutual embarrassment in our official relation which it seems cannot be overcome, or longer sustained, consistently with public service.” The letter was from the Executive Mansion, dated June 30, 1864 and was signed “Your Obt. Servt. A. Lincoln”. Imagine that! One of the greatest presidents this country has ever had, who faced what was one of the most difficult periods of our nation’s history, considered himself a servant to a member of his cabinet.
Today, we look upon the President of the United States as the “leader of the free world” and the “most powerful man in the world”. Without pointing at any particular President, have we seen demonstrated, an attitude like that displayed by Lincoln? Do you recall a president whom you could see regarding themselves as “your obedient servant”? Perhaps Jesus said it best when He said, “But the greatest among you shall be your servant.” (Matthew 23:11, NASB) The truly great ones in history have had a record of service and this is certainly true of Jesus. His service to mankind is one of an eternal nature. We owe our hope and joy of salvation to His willingness to die on Calvary’s cross as an obedient servant. Is this a hope of yours?
Copyright © 2007, Nolan P. Rutter