Day 4

An Example of Humility

from the reading plan

1 Corinthians 4:1-21, Zephaniah 2:3, 1 Peter 5:5

The sad reality of life in this fallen world is that we are all hungry for the applause of others. Scripture teaches us that we are either seeking the praise of people or the praise of God. This is an important recurrent theme in the letters from the apostle Paul, whose reputation was constantly demeaned by people who presented themselves to the members of the church as “super apostles.” They wanted to convince the Corinthian church that they were superior to Paul because of their credentials, gifts, and accomplishments, and they boasted in themselves constantly. In order to help the members of the church learn to think properly about who is truly approved by God, Paul taught a valuable lesson on stewardship.  

The apostle constantly viewed himself as a steward in the house of God. He considered the ministry to which Christ had called him as something precious and entrusted to him. He wanted to be found faithful to carrying out the work of the gospel in the church and in the world. Paul was not motivated by the praise of his own name but by a desire to bring glory to God.

It is far too easy to start wanting to serve for the applause. We can do this very subtly, and many of us are skilled at what is known as the “humble-brag.” We may not appear to be overtly seeking the praise of others, but our desire to name the size and scope of our service shows that we are seeking it in more covert ways. But at the end of our lives, the only praise that will matter is that which comes from the only true and living God, and He will reveal who He has approved as being a faithful steward. “And then praise will come to each one” from Him (1Corinthians 4:5). 

As we look to the Lord Jesus and labor to bring Him glory, may we find ourselves caring less and less about the praise of people and more and more about the praise that will come from our living God. May God give us grace to seek that praise continually. And may we seek to bring Him the glory for His mercy, grace, and goodness to us in Christ.

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