“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” – James 4:10.
Being humble for most people brings to mind a form of weakness. If someone practices humility, it means they’re not a “go-getter” and don’t care about performance or working hard. It’s the weak one who is humble and is dependent on someone else. The Bible has a different perspective: that the person practicing humility is actually the strong one? And with that strength, we should refrain from quarrels.
Jesus is our ultimate example of humility. Out of obedience to His Father, He humbled Himself all the way to the point of death on the cross. The Bible says because of this that God exalted Him just like how it says He will exalt us (1 Peter 5:6-7). Philippians 2:8-11 says, “ he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Christ had many opportunities to quarrel, but He never did. The Pharisees and Sadducees often attempted to lure Christ into quarrels, but Jesus always responded with perfectly crafted answers. Christ’s disciples regularly misunderstood Him, but Jesus never quarreled with them. Instead, He patiently corrected them and taught them, over and over. Matthew 12:19-20 says of Christ, “He will not quarrel or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets; a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory;”
We still need Him in everything we do. We still need the Holy Spirit to guide us and give us wisdom in all matters. We still need help to practice things that are honorable, pure, lovely, commendable, or anything praiseworthy. We are still not capable of doing anything on our own and will never be.
We need to turn to the gospel of grace in humility, acknowledging our need for Jesus. Only by the grace of Christ and the work of His Spirit in us, can we ever hope to remove the desire to quarrel and to forgive those we have had quarrels with. So the next time you find yourself calling a timeout because of a fight or quarrel in your house, or at work, or school stop and consider what might really be happening and what you could do in a sense of humility and forgiveness to stop the quarrel.
- What constitutes a quarrel to you?
- How can humility help dampen quarrels this week?