Pilgrim's Path Daily

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

'SOUL FOOD' - an audio-book by G.D. Watson - Ch. 29 of 32

Chapter 29 - "OUR NEED OF HUMILITY"
-- G.D. Watson lived in England, in the early part of the 1900's --




No grace is more befitting to us as human beings than that of perfect humility. As a race, we are the weakest, and poorest, and blindest of any order of intelligences we know of. Our bodies are made out of dust, our breath is in our nostrils, and our spiritual and mental nature is depraved. We have the weakness of the earth, the infirmities of the animals, and the depravity of the demons. We come in the world the most helpless of all creatures. Surely, if there is any race of beings in the universe that have any right to pride and vanity, we are not that race, and it is only a species of insanity that begets in us any degree of pride. In order to see my need of boundless humility, let me look at my nothingness. All creatures around me excel me in some one or more particulars. There is hardly an animal, or bird, or insect, that cannot in some particular excel me, either in speed or motion, or beauty of song, or hardiness, or docility, or some trait, which makes me as a creature feel my inferiority. And when I look on the members of my race, I can not find one who does not excel me in some gift, or talent, or grace, or skill, or advantage, or combination of gifts. The worst of my fellows have in them some natural traits - it may be a softness in the eye, or a sweetness in the voice, or a force of will, or a grace of motion, or a teachableness of mind, or relative disposition to goodness - which surpass me; or they have sinned against less light, under worse temptations, and have had less advantages than ever I had.

I have often read this in books, but the time has come when I feel it to be true. When the Holy Spirit shows us our nothingness, it is so easy for us to find thousands about us who are superior to ourselves, and under His illumination we can find something to love and to admire in all our fellow-creatures.

Another reason why I should be perfectly humble, is because I never lived a day that I have not been a tax to somebody. From the day I was born some of my fellow-beings have had to nurse me, or to cook, or to wash for me, or to wait on me; and as the years have gone by, how many untold millions of services have been rendered to a poor worm like me by thousands and thousands of my fellow- beings! In all these years, how many attentions of kindness have I received, how many gifts of love, how many kind words, how many earnest prayers have ascended for me, how many services to the needs of my body, my mind, my spirit, my temporal and intellectual and religious matters! And how many times have I wounded my friends, and grieved those who loved me most, and disappointed the hopes of many! Perhaps I have never lived a day that I have not caused somebody more or less pain, or anxiety, or trouble. My manners have been unpleasant, my voice harsh, my words unwise, my acts open to criticism, my best deeds have had flaws in them, or attended be some infirmity which rendered them less potent than they should have been. In the midst of such facts, for me to have one atom of pride, or self-esteem, or resentment, or coolness, or hard feeling toward any of my fellows, would be a gross barbarism. And then, when I think of the grief I have been to my Guardian Angel, and the loved ones in heaven who perhaps look down upon me all the time; and over and above all this, when I think of the grief I have caused my blessed Jesus, and heavenly Father, and the Holy Spirit, surely nothing so benefits me as to sink always in my own nothingness. All pride of any form or degree springs from self-esteem and over-estimate of ourselves. Could we always remember our true nothingness and inferiority, we should never be angry at any creature, we should never say that we have been injured or wronged by anybody, we should never be unkind or severe or impatient with the faults of others, we should never feel hurt at the conduct of another towards us

If we sink constantly into our nothingness and the perfect will of God, it is impossible for anybody or anything on earth to do us a real damage. ["You can't hurt a dead-man!" Col 3:3] Strictly speaking, no one in the universe can do us any harm but ourselves. What may seem to be a mean treatment that any human being can give us, if accepted in absolute self-abnegation, and taken as from the loving hand of God, will inevitably work for our good. Our nothingness is the fortress in which we should hide; around that fort our heavenly Father places His omnipotence as a wall, and no event or any act of others can penetrate that wall and reach us, without passing through the Divine will. Perfect humility is the doorway into the deepest peace, the greatest deadness to self and to the world; it is the condition of our sweetest union with divine nature. Whenever anything occurs that is painful, or disagreeable, or seemingly injurious, or damaging to our souls or bodies or property, let us at once consider our nothingness and utter demerit, and, from that standpoint, grace will flow into us, and give us strength to endure all things with a meekness and a love which will crown the soul with victory. True humility is not a spasmodic virtue which can be received as a mere blessing once for all, but we must study to be humble, make it a habit of the mind, and determine by the aid of Divine grace to always put ourselves at the bottom. It is an experience which we are to grow in. Wesley wrote to Asbury that he studied to be little and lowly. No wonder God could so mightily use him; while others are studying to be great and pushing their own interests, let us really desire to be like Jesus, keep always in our thoughts how to renounce ourselves, and sacrifice ourselves for God and the welfare of others. The more thoroughly we humble ourselves, the more truly God is exalted, for Christ is glorified in us just in proportion as we do not seek our own. When self is always renounced, then the joy of God becomes a continual experience in the heart.

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