DLS Consulting

Can You Spell Humility?

This is brought to you by permission of the author, Sara Beth Fentress, Director of SportPlus, an international mission organization emphasizing sports ministry. I trust it will be as meaningful to you as it was to me!

Humility 101
John 13: 1-20

If you have ever been to an African village, perhaps the scripture of Jesus washing the disciples' feet has become more alive to you. I know this was the case for me. For some reason, I had always assumed that the disciples' feet looked like "American feet." Toenails trimmed, well-kept, maybe even pedicured! OK, maybe not that far...

Feet are not glamorous in any culture, but this is especially true in cultures where sandals are the most frequently used mode of transportation. In Biblical times, it was common to have a basin at the front door so that people could wash their feet when they entered a house. Much of their day was spent walking and working in dusty, dirty environments.

By washing the disciples' feet, Jesus was attempting to teach his inner circle a lesson in humility and service. I don't know if you have noticed, but sometimes the closest followers of Christ had a hard time understanding the lessons that he was attempting to teach. At first Peter did not understand why Jesus was doing something that seemed so beneath Him. It seems that Peter has an "Aha" moment later in this passage, though. In verse 8, Jesus had said that unless he washes Peter's feet, then Peter will have no part of Jesus. In verse 9 we read,

"Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!"

Let's briefly look at the three body parts that Peter chose to surrender in this passage. I believe Peter's feet symbolized surrendered steps. Wherever God wanted to take him, then that is where he would go out of obedience. By offering his hands, I believe he was dedicating his work to the Lord. With his head bowed before Jesus, I believe he was surrendering his thoughts and emotions to the Lord.

We see later on in the Bible in 1 Peter 5:5-6, that perhaps Peter had learned his lesson about humility after all:

"Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.' Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you."

Sometimes God wants to grow us in our relationship with Him by humbly serving other people. Sometimes He wants us to evaluate our direction in life, the purpose of our work, our thoughts, and our emotions. May God find us with the attitude of Peter in His response to Christ's lesson on humility!

Lord, you have created us, and you can have all of us! Get us out of the way so that you can bring Glory to yourself through our lives!

Sara Beth Fentress
Director, SportsPlus

Monday Morning Message Sent 3/10/08


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