During fall every year, the major league baseball season comes to an end. By that time, each league (the American League and the National League) will have already announced a "most valuable player" for each league.
The very first MVP award was given after the 1911 baseball season. A man named Hugh Chalmers, who owned the Chalmers Motor Company, announced that he would award one of his company's automobiles to one player in each league who "should prove himself as the most important and useful player to his club and to the league at large in point of deportment and value of services rendered." A committee of baseball writers voted, and the first MVP awards were given to Ty Cobb of the Detroit Tigers (who hit .420 that year) and Frank Schulte of the Chicago Cubs (who hit .300 with 21 home runs and 107 runs batted in).
There have been many MVPs since then. Some have had high batting averages. Some have hit a lot of home runs. Some have stolen a lot of bases. Some have been pitchers who won a lot of games. But all have been considered the "Most Valuable Player" on their teams in that particular year.
Well, if God had an MVP award, you know how you could win it? By being humble. At least that would be one of the requirements. In today's Bible reading, God says, "This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word" (Isaiah 66:2, NIV). In other words, God really values humility. He thinks humility is terrific!
Of course, God doesn't give out Most Valuable Person awards; he values all people. But he has announced several Most Valuable Principle awards, and the principle of humility is one of his favorites. That's why God commands us to be humble; because humility is something he values-even more than a great batting average or a lot of stolen bases.
REFLECT: If God gave out MVP awards for humility, would you be nominated? Would you win it? Would you be proud of winning it? OK, so maybe that's a trick question; it's not very humble to be proud of your humility, is it? Do you think it's better to be proud or humble? Why?
PRAY: "Lord, I know you value humility; you 'esteem' the person who is humble and contrite in spirit. Help me to always be that kind of person toward you and toward others."