Thursday, July 29, 2010

Humility Gives Us Power

When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, "The gods have come down to us in human form!" Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker…

But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: "Men, why are you doing this? We too are only men, human like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them. – Excerpt from Acts 14: 11-15

Today’s Reading: Job 32-33; Acts 14

It’s interesting that this comes so quickly after the episode with Herod. When Herod was worshipped by the people he received their praise. As a result he was eaten by worms.


When Paul and Barnabas saw that they were being worshipped for healing a paralytic they were horrified and begged and pleaded with the crowd to see them for what they were.

Regular people just like them…

The juxtaposition here is interesting. The first thing I thought was wow… with great humility comes great power. But how does one stay humble when they possess such power? How did Paul fight off the urge to start feelin’ himself a bit too much?

I’m sure that the occasional stoning helped… but seriously… how does that work.

These were regular dudes with an irregular level of faith. But in the end they were regular folks. They had the same weaknesses that we all have to the human vices.

I imagine that the key to their walk was understanding that they were not the center of their own universe.

Here’s what I mean.

When Paul and Barnabas saw the paralyzed man they “saw that he had faith to be healed”.

It’s really hard to see others when you are looking at yourself.
The gifts that Paul was given to heal and to teach functioned through his humility. If he lost focus on God and others and started focusing on himself he wouldn’t have been able to see these opportunities that he had to work miracles.

When we place ourselves at the center of our worlds, that world has a funny way of collapsing in on us. We aren’t strong enough to support it.

But when we recognize that we don’t have to be that foundation, but rather, that we are standing on infinitely stronger shoulders; then there is no limit to what we can do.

Giving up control gives us power. 


  1. Wow, this was great for me to read today....struggling with humility right now. In fact I want to be Anon girl on this comment so nobody knows I struggle with pride. Sigh. Okay, I'll confess it with my name attached.

  2. Thank God for his timing. I happened to check this blog for the first time in months and the message is just what I needed today.

  3. @Melody and Elicious This must have been why I haven't been able to post the past couple days. I'm glad that it helped the both of you.


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