“Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

(Matthew 18: 4)

OUR FAITH MAKES US HUMBLE

Bob showed up at my door to fix a few things around the house. After many weeks of trying to make an appointment, he had been able to fit me into his very busy schedule. What I noticed quickly was his humility and the certainty that this humility was his way of living. A quiet man of Mohawk heritage, he lived among us without fame, but he was sought after.

He looked at my work, took pictures, and was remarkably thorough with his inspection. As our visit wore on and he got comfortable with my openness, he told me about his heritage. The heritage of being one of the very few Native Americans who lived in a mostly white community. A heritage where he and his brothers served their country faithfully, despite a history of broken promises by the country he loved. A heritage that made it hard for him to understand why a gas pipeline had to be constructed through a besieged group of people land in South Dakota. Bob was not judgmental, but he sought answers.

“We always paid him more than what he had assumed we would, because Bob was good at his craft and humble in his requests.”

Bob worked most days for fourteen hours. As I said, he was highly sought after. His request for payment was always “Pay for my materials and whatever else you think I am worth.” The friend who referred him to me, Chris, explained that this was Bob’s way. We always paid him more than what he had assumed we would, because Bob was good at his craft and humble in his requests. I am sure this unusual way of billing exposed him to being taken advantage of by a few. But I am also sure that his humility and the high quality of his work inspired most to overpay. Bob was humble, thorough, and busy.

“When we humble ourselves, we invite God’s recognition of our humanity.”

Jesus makes an important life statement in Luke 14:11: “For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” He instructs us to be careful with how we view ourselves. To not make our successes higher than they are, and to be humble in acknowledging who we are. My friend Dick explains it by saying, “It’s nice to be important, but more important to be nice.” Jesus also issues a warning that when we act higher than others, we invite downfall. When we humble ourselves, we invite God’s recognition of our humanity.

Jesus describes this certain and humble faith by saying “Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18: 4) A childlike faith, one that believes without compensation, a faith that has become innocent and untarnished—this faith of humbleness is the attitude Jesus desires for us to achieve. Those who possess a humility in which they put aside their earthly desires and allow the world to dim away are sure of their faith and move throughout their day focused on doing good and helping others. Bob had this certain and humble faith.

Blessings, until next time,
Bruce L. Hartman