I recently listened to Professor Patricia Greenfield from UCLA describe how television shows watched by pre-teenagers have shifted from community-based issues to fame-based issues during the last fifteen years. Our young people are now encouraged to aim for fame while their sports heroes engage in “trash talk” that displays no humility but only arrogance and pride.
Pride is as old as sin in our universe, and our lesson this week contrasts it with the humility of God.
Humility and Pride
Lucifer succumbed to the temptation of pride. He discovered that his greatness attracted attention and could be used to create feelings of exhilaration. We know that the Father talked to him about the dangers involved just like He talked with Cain. God is eager to prevent destructive behavior and He dealt with these two persons in love and patience. Lucifer’s desire for fame suppressed the humility and love that characterize the atmosphere of heaven, and it led to a pattern of destructive behavior.
Jesus studied the Old Testament and learned from these stories. He understood the importance of humility and through the power from the Father, also available to us, He lived a life of loving service which demonstrated the character of the Father.
This week I will allow the subject of humility to flavor the subsequent topics of study.
Forgiveness cannot occur without humility. I trust that we can easily understand the need for a forgiving attitude which requires control of the human desire for justice and revenge. The counsel of Jesus on this subject is clear, but I see many believers on social media posting severe and critical messages without a hint of humility, grace or forgiveness.
I encourage you to scroll back and examine your posts and comments to see if they are edifying for the body of believers and if they reflect spiritual, sensitive and humble feelings.
As I study the story of the rich young ruler, I will view the story through the window of humility. Let’s face it, the words of a poor man are despised (see Ecclesiastes 9:16), and this young man enjoyed the position of honor where his words were desired. I’m reminded of this quote in Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 2, page 115:
“In view of what Christ has done for us, and what He has suffered for sinners, we should, out of pure, disinterested love for souls, imitate His example by sacrificing our own pleasure and convenience for their good.”
Join me this week and pray more and more. Come closer to the Father and Jesus and let the words of Matthew stir your soul. Yes, the Christian experience requires humility to initiate and to endure.