November 7, 2023 | Martin Luther – Day 47

“Our humility is not monastic. Humility of that kind is pride and a humility in oneself, not in Christ. Such humility is a sham. Those, then, are the proudest who are the humblest.”

Martin Luther



Jesus is recorded in Matthew 23:2-4, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.”


Here Jesus is speaking to both hypocrisy and humility. The scribes and Pharisees are hypocrites because they demand humility and submission, but by their actions they prove to be anything but that way to God. In their pride, they have forsaken God by thinking more of themselves then of the people they have been called to serve.


Luther called this, “artificial humility.” He found it common among his fellow monks who thought of themselves more highly than they should. He said that genuine humility is scarcely aware of its own presence, a subconscious attitude maintained by a simple heart of service.


The truly humble never have their own humility in their minds eye because it has become what defines them. The Lord said through the Prophet Micah, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8).


To do justice and to love kindness, one must first walk humbly with God, submissive to His every desire. Justice and kindness born out of pride become a work intended more for the satisfaction of the giver than the receiver. But kindness born out of humility adorns itself with a kind of love that can only be found in God.


Paul said to the Colossians, “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience” (Colossians 3:12). All of our greatest attributes must have as their starting point, a kind of humbleness that can only be born of faith.


Today, practice humility by putting others first in your life. Reach out with kindness, meekness and patience born from a humility that comes from a right relationship with God.


Our prayer: Heavenly Father, forgive us when we have thought more of ourselves than we have of our neighbor. Help us towards the kind of humility that isn’t even aware of its own presence. Amen.