Dear Friends,

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 

Philipp 2:1–4.

Humility is not a popular subject as most people are trying to do better for themselves. Humility is not opposed to success. It is what determines our attitude to others. When we are truly humble we will never look down on anyone else or talk in a wrong way about them. That is the attitude of Christ as we read in Philippians 2.

We can be best and proud, or best and humble. We should be the best we can be in the way we do things and do them as to the Lord. There is no room for “slap-dash”! Being good at something must not allow us to become proud and think we are better than others. Because we are good at our job does not mean we are the only one who should do it. We may be gifted and good at things but we must let others also have their place in preference to us at times. Jesus was the best at His job for sure. Nevertheless, He took 12 disciples and taught them to do what He did and sent them off to do exactly that without looking over their shoulder. If Jesus could do that, so must we. This how the kingdom of heaven grows. We are not indispensable as we may want to think.

A teachable spirit is essential so we are open to learn new things and receive advice. If we think we can always do it on our own we are deceiving ourselves. Many times as a doctor I needed to get the advice of other knowledgeable doctors in order to sort the situation out I was faced with. We must know our own limitations and boundaries. It actually makes us more secure. The Lord will always keep us vulnerable regarding some things just to make sure we depend on Him.

Let us be gracious when we use our position, wealth and abilities. At an early stage in my career I learnt this lesson. I was working in London at the time. One day when I was on call at a weekend, I was called to see an elderly blind lady who was not coping. This was not so much a medical matter but the need was real. I could have got assistance from the Social Services who have support teams for people like this. Nevertheless, her nephew had also come. He was not young. He was rich and owned a London newspaper he told me. He was a man of influence as such. It happened that he belonged to a society which supported the hospital where his aunt had worked as a matron. He was sure he could get their society to find a suitable place for her. I had no doubt that he was able to do what he said. He was so polite and gracious as he spoke to me, not forcing me in any way. I had no hesitation in granting his request to take care of everything and indeed was very thankful for his real concern and intervention for his aunt. He kindly not only showed me out of the house but walked me to the gate as well. He truly was a perfect, humble, gentleman.

There is no room for hardness of heart. A good leader must always have compassion. Let me tell you about a crisis that happened at my doctor’s surgery in England one day. During my morning surgery my nurse knocked the door and came straight in. This was rare. She told me she needed me immediately. I excused myself from the patient I was with and followed her to her room. A gentleman had just collapsed and his heart had stopped. There was no time to lose. I told my nurse to fetch the other doctor from the next room and go and tell the receptionist to phone for an ambulance straight away. Fortunately, our team was able to resuscitate the gentleman and get his heart going again. His life was spared. I now had a message that his wife had arrived and she knew nothing. I took her to another place which was quiet. I was still feeling the stress of the emergency. I had to tell her that her husband had almost died and an ambulance would be here very soon to take him to hospital. Not easy for her or me. It demanded my real gentleness and compassion for them both. You can imagine how much worse it would have been if he had died; a situation I also had to cope with many times. Can you cope with a crisis like that?

         “God opposes the proud

         but shows favour to the humble.

Jas 4:6.

If we want God’s attention we can see the need of humility. It is just remembering who God is. Another verse I love which says so much is:-

         For this is what the high and exalted One says—

         he who lives forever, whose name is holy:

         “I live in a high and holy place,

         but also with the one who is contrite and lowly in spirit,

Is 57:15.

Yes, humility actually connects us to the Lord. We always need Him. It is good to remember that.

God bless you.

Pastor Keith Pascoe