Here is an excerpt from a recent Times of India news article:
A recent photograph of Gary F. Locke, the new United States ambassador to China, buying coffee with his 6-year old daughter and carrying a black backpack at a Starbucks in the Seattle airport has gone viral on the Chinese Internet. The seemingly banal scene has bewildered and disarmed Chinese because they are used to seeing their own officials indulge in privileged lives often propped up by graft and bribery and lavish expense accounts.
“To most Chinese people, the scene was so unusual it almost defied belief,” Chen Wei-hua, an editor at China Daily, wrote. Cheng Li, a scholar at the Brookings Institution who studies Chinese elite politics, said in an e-mail, “Ambassador Locke’s photo contrasts sharply with the image of the Chinese officials who often live in a secret, insulated, very privileged fashion. This may explain why some Chinese leaders tend to be out of touch with the real life of the ordinary Chinese people – members of the urban middle class, not to mention the farmers and migrant workers.”
What Ambassadors of Christ Can Learn?
Reading this news made me realize that it is a wonderful lesson that the ambassadors of Jesus can learn from the U.S. ambassador. Now I’m not implying that elderly servants of God must carry their own heavy bags, but certainly, this article is a reminder to all of us who serve the Lord that we are not celebrities, but servants who are in service to the Lord and His people.
We should be careful not to abuse the love and honor that people endow on us or misuse it our own selfish purposes. In fact, the people are the VIPs and Jesus is the only Hero of Christianity. Servants of God exist because of the needs of His people, and we are carriers of the message of our Master. Remove the Master and the people from the picture and we are just like the donkey that people throw stones at. God deserves all the credit for choosing us and it is not by our merit, but by His grace. He does this so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.
Have a look at the Scriptures below:
Col 3:12 “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience…”Phil 2:3-8 “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
Yes, there may be times when you genuinely need people’s assistance and there will also be times when no matter how humble you are, people will misunderstand you! Things will not be in your control at all times, but let us always remember that God loves a humble heart. We should strive towards transparency and humility so that the fruits of our ministry are not mingled with shame or hypocrisy.
Growing up, I always heard my mom say, “The more the Lord lifts you up, you should all the more humble yourself before Him.” It is easy to be humble when we are ‘small’ but the real challenge is when we grow to be of ‘greater significance’ – as in the case of the U.S. ambassador- that’s where we must display true humility.
The church of Christ survives and thrives through servanthood. And this is not just for leaders! Let us not forget that every child of Jesus is gifted to serve the body of Christ in his or her own unique way for His glory.
Question: Have you personally witnessed humility in another person that has challenged you to be humble? Share with the GTH community on what inspires you to be humble.