Sunday, September 02, 2012

1st Clement 13 - Of humble mind

Clement further exhorts us to be of a humble mind.
"Let us therefore, brethren, be of humble mind, laying aside all haughtiness, and pride, and foolishness, and angry feelings; and let us act according to that which is written, ... being especially mindful of the words of the Lord Jesus which He spake, teaching us meekness and long-suffering." (1 Clement 13)
It is interesting that, in the list of things we should put aside in order to obtain humility of mind, Clement includes foolishness and angry feelings. Foolishness, because these are the behaviors that we tend to when we walk in pride. Where there is pride, wisdom is lacking, and where wisdom is lacking, foolishness abounds. In our journey from pride to humility we must lay aside foolishness and embrace the wisdom that comes only through humility.

Clement also mentions angry feelings. When a proud man does not get his just respect, he gets angry at the slight he feels from others. However, a humble man know his true value comes from God. He looks to the esteem of god rather than looking for the approval of men. He understands that not all men will like him but that God will always loves him and will never leave him. His foundation is in God so he feels none of the anger the proud man feels when he is slighted or demeaned.

Beyond all this, Clement reminds us that our calling to humility is not just his idea, but is also consistent with the very words of our Lord. Our Lord Himself spoke and taught us to obtain a life style of meekness and long-suffering towards other people. These characteristics are not automatic in our lives but must be pursued and cultivated; we must seek to establish ourselves and our lives according to this pattern of behavior.
"By this precept and by these rules let us establish ourselves, that we walk with all humility in obedience to His holy words. For the holy word saith, 'whom shall I look, but on him that is meek and peaceable, and that trembleth at My words?' " (1 Clement 13)
Much of the problems we face in our churches would vanish if we all gave ourselves whole heatedly to the establishing of ourselves in humility. Let this be the aim of our lives and of our churches.

David Robison

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