Walk Humbly

Day 4 of 5 • This day’s reading


Humility and People's Words

In Freetown, Sierra Leone, a newspaper displayed a photo of a little girl with a facial deformity. The caption read “Devil Child.” The girl was kept locked up in a cement chicken coup—alone and slowly starving to death. Then someone brought her to the Africa Mercy. She hesitated at the gangway—afraid of rejection. Despite the child’s smell and appearance, a Mercy Ships nurse gently picked her up and carried her onboard. 

The girl received a free surgery to repair the deformity. But the love and kindness she experienced repaired her heart. 

In Psalm 31:20 we see a beautiful declaration about God:

In the shelter of your presence you hide them

from all human intrigues;

you keep them safe in your dwelling

from accusing tongues.

The words of others can cause a lot of pain, as we see in the life of this girl. We can be torn down by ‘accusing tongues,’ which can lead us to believe we are less than ‘God’s workmanship.’ At first glance, agreeing with these accusations rather than agreeing with God’s assessment of us can seem like humility. However, it is actually a form of pride to believe what others say, when God speaks the truth about your great worth as His handiwork.

The words of others can also flatter, puff us up and lead us to think we are more deserving of God’s blessing than we are. They can lead us to take credit for ‘good works,’ rather than giving God all the glory.

It is only by remaining focussed on God that we can keep a level head and heart.  God’s words keep us from feeling too lofty and proud as well as from feeling too low and unworthy. As we worship God, His words seem ‘louder’ than the words of people. The accusing or flattering tongues of others become quieter. 

Call to action - Spend some time reflecting on how other people’s words have affected your view of yourself (your identity) or your view of what God can do in your life. Pray for healing in these areas, that only God’s words would shape your view of yourself.