God’s in the gutter

Humility is one of those words that seems embarrassing in this market-driven age. The meek might inherit the earth—eventually—but not right now.

It is said that successful people do not write good poems.

The 19th century Christian William Temple counselled his congregations to avoid the sort of obsessive religious humility that “consists in being a great deal occupied about yourselves’’.

“Humility does not mean thinking less of yourself than of other people. It means freedom from thinking about yourself, one way or the other, at all,’’ he said.

There was no greater example of humility than Jesus Christ who “although born rich, became poor’’.

Born amid the dung in a stable, a humble carpenter for most of his life, homeless during his ministry and dying naked on a cross, he placed himself on a very human level.

He expressed, in human terms, the stress he faced via his temptation in the wilderness, and his agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. The lesson is that sometimes one must go as low as possible to find God.

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