|Paul’s gifts were great. His abilities were mind-boggling. Intellectually, theologically, oratorically, the guy was incredible. Yet he said, ‘I served you with humility of mind’, because he knew every ability he had was a gift from God.
Humility of mind means truly esteeming others better than yourself (Philippians 2:3). Humility of mind means not finding fault with a brother or sister, but finding fruit — approving those things which are excellent within them. Humility of mind means realizing it’s the grace of God, not our own merit, which allows us to know Him and walk with Him.
I recall driving Highway 42 from San Bernardino to Twin Peaks where I was to address a group of spiritual leaders. As I wound my way up the road, I found myself praying, ‘Lord, I want to be like You when I talk to my brothers at the conference.’
I thought it was a pretty good prayer — until the Lord spoke to my heart so clearly that I literally had to pull off the road.
‘You want to be like Me?’ He asked.
‘Yes,’ I answered.
‘Why do you want to be like Me, Jon?’
‘Well, Lord, because You’re so awesome.’
‘Did you ask to be like Me when you were with your kids two mornings ago?’
‘But you’re asking to be like Me now — when you’re about to talk to a group of pastors?’
I was busted. I had prayed that prayer hundreds, if not thousands of times before. It was a noble request, but, you see, my motivation was amiss. I didn’t necessarily want to be like Him so I could serve my kids humbly. No, I wanted to be like Him so I could minister powerfully.
Watch out for those times when you think you are being spiritual, lest an entirely different form of pride surface. Instead, be like Paul. Serve the Lord with humility of mind.