November 23
Humility is a teachable spirit
James 1:17-27
"... and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you." (v.21)


Some Christians confuse humility with lack of ambition, but here, too, they are mistaken. The Christian in whom the "harvest of the Spirit" is being reaped may lack worldly ambition, but in the spiritual area of life, he is the most ambitious person alive. Titles,honors, distinctions, money ... his heart is not set on them but on God. If these things are placed in his hands, they are seen as a trust; they are not, however, the things that he deeply covets. For the true Christian, life comes to fulfilment, not in things but in God.
Having spent a few days focusing on what humility is not, it is time now to focus on what it is. "Humility," says William Barclay, "is a gentle, gracious and submissive spirit." He suggests that in order properly to understand humility, we need to look at five significant passages of Scripture. When we have looked at all five, we shall then get a composite picture of this beautiful virtue which the Holy Spirit seeks to bring to fruition in our lives.
The first is James 1:21: "Humbly accept the message that God has planted in your hearts, and which can save your souls" (J. B. Phillips). Humility is a teachable spirit -- an attitude that recognizes one's own ignorance and a humble acceptance of the fact that without God's help, one cannot understand the depths or profundities of truth. Every Christian who has a good understanding of Scripturewill, to some degree, be humble, for those who approach the Bible with a proud and know-all attitude will find it will shut like a clam and reveal nothing to them.
O Father, give me a teachable spirit -- especially in relation to Scripture. Help me to lay aside my own ideas when I come to Your Word, so that I might be able to absorb Your ideas. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
For Further Study
1. What was Paul's admonition to Timothy?
2. What is the result of a teachable spirit?