There is no harder lesson to learn than the lesson of humility. It is not taught in the schools of men, only in the school of Christ. It is the rarest of gifts. I believe it is the hardest lesson which Jesus Christ had to teach His disciples while He was here on earth. I believe that if we are humble enough we shall be sure to get a great blessing. I think that more depends upon us than upon the Lord, because He is always ready to give a blessing, but we are not always in a position to receive it. He always blesses the humble, and if we can get down in the dust before Him, no one will go away disappointed.
Bunyon says that it is hard to get down in to the valley of humiliation, the descent is steep and rugged; but it is very fruitful and fertile and beautiful when once we get there. Almost every man, even the ungodly, admires meekness.
Augustine was asked what was the first of the religious graces. *Humility.* He was asked what was the second. *Humility.* They asked him the third. *Humility.* Humility does not consist in thinking meanly of ourselves, but in not thinking of ourselves at all.
If a man is proud and lifted up, rivers of grace may flow over him and yet leave him barren and unfruitful, while they bring blessing to the man who has been brought low by the grace of God. A man can counterfeit love, he can counterfeit faith, he can counterfeit hope and all the other graces, but it is very difficult to counterfeit humility. As the branches that are most laden with fruit bend lowest; as the ship most laden sinks deepest in the water; so the holiest Christians are the humblest.
John 3:30: *He must increase, but I must decrease.*
It is easy for us to read that, but it is hard for us to live in the power of it. It is very hard for us to be ready to decrease, to grow smaller and smaller, that Christ may increase. The morning star fades away when the sun rises.
Let us now turn the light on ourselves. Have we been decreasing of late? Do we think less of ourselves and our position than we did a year ago? Are we seeking to obtain some position of dignity? Are we wanting to hold onto some title, and are we offended because we are not treated with the courtesy that we think is due us? Some time ago I heard a man in the pulpit say that he should take offense if he was not addressed by his title. My dear friend, are you going to take that position that you must have a title, and that you must have every letter addressed with that title or you will be offended? When we are right with God, we shall not be caring about titles. The Apostle Paul called himself the least of all the apostles, less than the least of all saints, and chief of sinners. Notice how he seems to have grown smaller and smaller in his own estimation. I do hope and pray that as the days go by we may feel like hiding ourselves, and let God have all the honor and glory.
Andrew Murray: *When I look back upon my own religious experience, or round upon the church of Christ in the world, I stand amazed at the thought of how little humility is sought after as the distinguishing feature of the discipleship of Jesus. . . . Alas! How much proof there is that humility is not esteemed the cardinal virtue, the only root from which the graces can grow, the one indispensable condition of true fellowship with Jesus.*
If we want God to lift us up, let us get down. The lower we get, the higher God will lift us.
Oh to be nothing, nothing! Only to lie at His feet,
A broken and emptied vessel, For the master*s use made meet.
Emptied, that He might fill me As forth to His service I go;
Broken, that so unhindered, His life through me might flow.