Every virtue begins with humility

By Nnamdi Maduka

On 29th November 2020, Manchester United were playing Southampton, with some minutes to go, Southampton were leading 2-1.  It looked as though United were going to suffer their fourth defeat of the Premier League season. The United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to salvage the situation called out Edison Cavani from the substitute bench, gave him a specific instruction on what at to do and sent him in. This paid off as Cavani scored two beautiful goals that gave Manchester United their much-needed victory. A world class footballer left in the bench humbly waited for his time and when the opportunity came, he made his mark.

John the Baptist was given a definite divine assignment by God and he played the script with dedication and humility. Humility produces spiritual blessing hence Jesus describe him as the greatest of all.Just as every sin starts in pride, every virtue begins in humility. Humility allows us to see ourselves as we are, because it shows us before God as He is.

God needs voices and John the Baptist was willing to be one for God. In ancIent times, before a king visited any part of his realm, a messenger was sent before him to prepare the way. This included both repairing the roads and preparing the people. By calling the nation to repentance, John the Baptist prepared the way for the Lord Jesus Christ.
John stopped his disciples from putting him into a situation of competing against Jesus.  He knew that he was just a voice and whatever God wanted to do with that voice was great with him. He wanted to get all the attention onto Christ and off himself. That is the heart desire of the humble. Proud people want recognition, the humble want all the glory and honour and  recognition to go the Lord. This revealed a deeper level of humility in John’s life.  John can do this because he has realised that it is not about him. And therefore, he can also be so bold in resisting the temptation to doctor the message or attempt to soften the impact of Christ`s teaching.

Humility destroys self-absorption, self-preoccupation, self-sufficiency, and self-reliance. Our desires become nothing compared to Christ who becomes everything. So, reflecting again on John’s life and witness, his hippie appearance and all his ‘shouty-ness’ I hope we might accept with due humility that like him, all WE can do is attempt to point the way; and invite others into friendship with the Lord in this busy season.

May the Lord prepare our heart for the wonder of His coming. Amen

P.S. This coming Sunday (13 December) we will reflect on John the Baptist, his life and work.