“And [Jesus] said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.'” — Matthew 18:3-4
Grace for the Humble
It was one of the sweetest examples of humility I’d ever seen. I was enjoying a nice conversation with the young baseball player and his mom when one of his assistant coaches walked up and put his arms around the neck of his player. Quietly speaking in his ear, I barely made out a few words of apology as I tried to give them their space.
“Please forgive me for…” the coach said softly. The player smiled and seemed to indicate the mentioned situation as not being a big deal, but forgiveness was granted, and all went on. I was impressed that the coach had the humility to come and make things right — even over something that didn’t appear to be a major situation.
Let’s face it: It’s hard to admit when we’re wrong. I’ve had many times myself when I’ve brushed off a situation that I should’ve taken more seriously if I’d thought of things from the other person’s perspective. We all have our share of moments when we know we ought to have humbled ourselves before God and our neighbor to go and make things right, but we chose not to. Yes, maybe the situation wasn’t the biggest deal, but having a tender conscience means we will recognize, by the Holy Spirit’s conviction, that we’ve failed in some way to represent Christ and show grace to our fellow man. We realize that, from the other person’s point of view, they may have taken things more negatively than we initially thought, and we should have been more sensitive to that.
The Bible mentions humility in many passages, drawing our attention to the fact that pride, its counterpart, often leads us to be blind to our own sin. We miss the severity of our offenses toward God and others. We’re completely oblivious to how we may have hurt someone else by our words or actions. We excuse away our need for forgiveness and restoration.
Isaiah 66:2 tells us that God will favorably look on the person who is “humble and contrite in spirit” and whose conscience is tender before God. James 4:6 goes on to say that God will resist the proud but give grace to the humble. Jesus Himself even goes so far as to say the humble are the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 18:4).
As you play, coach, and interact with teammates and fellow athletes, you will have many situations where you may say or do something that you end up regretting. Sin resides in us all and is bound to surface at some point. When that happens, ask God to give you His promised grace to go and humble yourself and make things right. By being willing to admit that you were wrong, you allow the forgiveness of Christ to extend to another, and in so doing, draw them closer to the Gospel.
— Katherine Singer
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