The Rewards of Humility (4)
The Rewards of Humility
Paul tells us that as we tap into the help of the Holy Spirit to become more humble, we’ll be rewarded. Just as Jesus was exalted having displayed great humility during His life on this planet, we can look forward to being exalted in God’s timing.
Jesus’ humility was evident when He stepped out of heaven and experienced life as a human for more than three decades. He regarded others so important that He shed the trappings of royalty for an earthly existence that would enable us to enter the kingdom of heaven. In innocence and without grumbling, He gave His life on the cross as a sacrifice for us. Looking out for our interests above His own, He was willing to die so we could live forever.
How did the Father reward Jesus’ humble obedience?
Paul tells us:Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2:9-11)
The Lord also plans to exalt Jesus’ humble followers. Paul told the Philippians that a time would come when he would glory in his humble and faithful service as God’s messenger. The apostle is talking here of the reward he’d receive in the future. Peter reinforces this thought as he encourages his readers to be humble. Those who do, explains the apostle, will be exalted at a time of God’s choosing.
George Washington Carver, a humble man
George Washington Carver is believed to have been born into slavery in Missouri in 1864. From his modest beginnings, he became known around the world as a scientist, botanist, educator, and inventor.
“When I was young,” he once explained, “I said to God, ‘God, tell me the mystery of the universe.’ But God answered, ‘That knowledge is reserved for me alone.’ So I said, ‘God, tell me the mystery of the peanut.’ Then God said, ‘Well, George, that’s more nearly your size.’ And he told me.” Carver translated this mystery into hundreds of useful products from the peanut.
In 1896, Carver was named head of the Agriculture Department at the Tuskegee Institute. He taught there for 47 years. When Carver died in 1943 at the age of 78, the inscription on his gravestone read: “He could have added fortune to fame, but caring for neither, he found happiness and honor in being helpful to the world.”
During his life, Carver received many honors. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People presented him an award for outstanding achievement, and a museum was dedicated in his name at the Tuskegee Institute. Following his death, Congress established George Washington Carver Recognition Day. President Franklin D. Roosevelt approved a national monument in his honor—the first dedicated to an African-American and the first to honor someone other than a president.
Carver was recognized on postage stamps and coins, and two U.S. ships were named for him. He was elected to the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, and listed as one of the 100 greatest African-Americans.
George Washington Carver was a humble man who led an extraordinary life. His accomplishments produced fame and honor, both before and after his death. In the same way, as we humble ourselves in God’s eyes, he’ll honor us—in this life or the next.
How does the promise of a reward from God encourage you to be humble and obedient?