Humility and Service

The 2018 Virginia Annual Conference was held on June 15th thru 17th at Hampton Convention Center. The main theme of the conference was "Servant Leaders Making a Difference" (1 Peter 4:10). Bishop Sharma Lewis challenged all clergy and lay members to participate in a "Great Day of Service" from 2 to 5 p.m. on June 16th. I observed many people cleaning up surrounding areas of the center: city waterways from their kayaks and canoes, community parks, and some of the Hampton cemeteries.

We must be humble for serving others. We cannot serve the people without humility. The author of 1 Peter admonished in 5:5, ". . . Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." What does it mean when you quote "Clothe yourselves with humility?" It seems to signify that "Wear the apron of humility and serve one another." Humility and service are unmistakably interconnected.

The term "humility" speaks of an attitude which puts other first, and thinks of the desires, needs, and ideas of others as more worthy of attention than one's own. In this sense, humility may not be an attractive word to contemporary people, but modern society is so used to self-exposure and self-aggravation wherever possible. Everyone is self-centered and so indulgent into extreme selfishness in word and in deed. Thus, it is so hard to live humbly and to say low-keyed.

It is a part of the son titled "Humility is Hard" that was composed, written and sung by a well-known singer in South Korea, Young Nam Cho in 1991: "Is there anybody better than me? Is there anybody better looking than me? Except for what I am not humble, I am the best in my generation, my late parent entreated me to be humble, but so far there is one thing that I cannot do and that is humility. Humility, humility is hard!"

Humility is indeed hard, but if we really want to follow Jesus as the best example of service, we must be humble. The reason is clear. "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble" (quoted by Proverbs 3:34). Here we see the substance of pride and humility. Pride invites God's resistance, but humility earns God's pleasure. Ultimately, God recognizes the humble and exalts the humble in due time!

Colonial Beach United Methodist Church