Humility is one of those things we may find confusing to define, but I believe we all agree what humility’s absence looks like.
I recently read that almost everyone you meet claims to be humble. Yet even while making that claim, they have their eye on the Trinity just in case there’s a vacancy.
QTMs is my own shorthand for Quiet Time Musings. At one time I sent at least one such post each morning, and its practice became more habitual than enjoyable. That’s one of the reasons I stopped writing them. Two others are that I’m continuing work on the manuscript for my first book, which takes time. The second is that I’ve been forced by my web hosting site to switch to new servers. There’s more to that than meets the checkbook, so suffice it to say I’ve been slowed down and distracted. Frustrated, evUN. (Some of you read that in Snagglepuss’s voice. I heard you.)
No matter where I’m reading during each morning’s quiet time, I always find good, worthy counsel in Psalms and Proverbs. This year I’ve been reading out of the English Standard Version, and the subtle differences are always instructive. I love to learn new ways of understanding and applying what the Bible has to say.
This morning some things Psalm 25 has to say about humility’s link with learning grabbed my attention. My habit is to point out what I’m learning, rather than to bore you quoting Scripture. The section of my focus, however, is verses 8 through 14. Get yourself a refill of java and let’s think together.
God “instructs sinners in the way”. Okay, we sort of expect that. It’s what follows that interests me. He “leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way”.
Yeah? So? Repetitive, right?
Nope. Only one who is teachable can be led. Only one who wants to learn can be taught. Note the difference between “God instructs sinners” and “He leads and teaches the humble”. There’s a stark difference between, “Okay, goofoffs, listen up!” and “Come on over here and take a load off; I’ve something to share with you.”
I just read this morning of a Port St. Lucie, FL 8th grade teacher who was fired because she refused to give lazy, impudent students at least 50% for not handing in their required work. They weren’t interested in being either led or taught, so she was restricted to only instructing them.
This passage reminds that in times when these Scriptures were written, teachers often walked along, speaking as they walked. Those wanting to learn from them walked along with them, both to hear and to bounce questions off them.
It reads that “all the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness” toward those wanting to follow after Him. That implies a close, growing relationship between teacher and learners.
Think back. Who were your favorite teachers in school? Your favorite profs in college or grad school? What made them so?
This Psalm says those same things apply, albeit perfectly, to God’s desired relationship with you. Weren’t some of your most memorable times with friends those times when you walked along together, sharing thoughts and ideas? The promises here indicate that kind of closeness between God and anyone humble enough to want to read (hear) what He has to teach.
Your humility – remaining curious and teachable – is your pathway to excellence.
Check out verse 14. Really? Friendship with God?
© Copyright D. Dean Boone, September 2019