My grandfather had a saying that if I heard escape his lips once I undoubtedly heard him say it a hundred times…” I never met a pie I didn’t like”. This simple phrase has held true for me as well…perhaps with the exception of rhubarb…in my humble opinion…that doesn’t make the list of good pie.
If pie is so good, and it is. You only have to ask grandpa and I…and millions of others who agree with us. Have you ever wondered why they call it “Humble Pie”? Is it because it is bitter like the one and only example of rhubarb? Or is it instead because it is supposed to be good like every other pie on the planet. I submit to you it is the latter and not the former. “Humble Pie” is not just good, it is very good and turns out that unlike almost any other pie…it is extremely good for you!
Jesus spoke very highly of the benefits of humility. He said in Matt. 18:4 that whoever humbles themselves like a little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. In Luke 18:14 is recorded that Jesus said “and everyone who exalts himself will be humbled; and he who humbles himself will be exalted”. Jesus reiterated these truths by proclaiming them other ways as well; “The last will be first, and the first last”, “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it”. He even shared parables with His disciples about the importance of humility such as which seat to take at a wedding feast (the least prominent one available) and which one to avoid (the most prominent available), explaining that the former was the only choice that allowed for blessing while the latter left too much room for shame. It is clear from these and many other of Christ’s teaching as well as the entirety of His life’s example that humility is held in the highest regard in the Kingdom of God.
I know that we often think of “Humble Pie” as something we are forced to eat when we have been unable to deliver on our word, and sometimes that is when it is served to us, but not without warning that it was on the menu. God’s word is clear that saying we will do this or that without the condition of it being the Lord’s will is simply a form of pride, because we have precious little control over what we will be able to do in the future. I wish I could count the number of times my mom quoted to me from Proverbs during my teen years when I was acting without humility; “Ken, Pride cometh before the fall”.
However, when consumed correctly “Humble Pie” is warm and delicious and has many good spiritual health benefits. Proverbs 3:34 says that God gives grace to the humble. Proverbs 29:23 speaks to the fact that a man’s pride will bring him down, but the humble in spirit retain honor. In Philippians chapter 2 Paul writes that if we practice eating “Humble Pie” the way we should, such as not thinking too highly of who we are, and by esteeming others higher than ourselves, we will be imitating Jesus in a most desirable way and it will be evidence that we have the mindset of Christ. James lets us in on a few more of the spiritual health benefits of a nice sized slice of “Humble Pie”. He also writes that God gives grace to the humble, and adds that if you humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, that He will in fact lift you up. Peter echoed those sentiments when He again wrote that God gives grace to the humble and that if we humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, He will exalt us at the perfect time. Proverbs says that “The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility.
Humility is the currency in the economy of the kingdom of God. If we want to be rich in the kingdom, then we must allow humility to seep into every area of our lives. Jesus made it clear that we should be storing up treasure in heaven. There is little doubt that this is what He was talking about. How we learn to live here in this life, in this world, will determine our wealth in the next. Make no mistake, I’m not talking about “earning our salvation” …we can’t do that. I’m not suggesting that if we perform enough “good works” we somehow curry the favor of God. What I am saying is that if we live a life of humility…real humility, the kind that permeates every part of our lives, we will look an awful lot like Jesus who undoubtedly has the highest standing as Lord of lords and King of kings. Looking like Him, acting like Him and being connected to Him does matter now and will matter then.
James the brother of Jesus asked this all important question, and I ask it of you again today. Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
I said it before, let me say it again “I never met a pie I didn’t like”. Apple is awesome, sour cherry is scrumptious, pumpkin is pleasingly spicy, …rhubarb is even good if you add strawberries…but humble pie…humble pie is divine!
So now, eating all the humble pie you can consume…go be awesome!