A means to hope
"... what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." (v. 8)
Another passage we must look at if we are to understand the deep meaning of humility is Galatians 6:1 -- "If someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently" (NIV). Paul's advice is that if someone is overtaken in a fault, he must be corrected in a spirit of humility. Correction can be given in a way which discourages or in a way which sets a person on his or her feet with the determination to do better. Humility is the spirit which makes correction a stimulant and not a depressant, a means to hope and not a cause of despair.
The third passage is 2 Timothy 2:25: "Those who oppose him he must gently instruct." Paul is saying here that when we meet up with those who disagree with us, and whom we think to be mistaken, we must not attempt to bludgeon them into changing their minds, but treat them with the utmost gentleness and respect.
Suppose we go into a room on a bitterly cold day and find the windows are frozen on the inside -- there are two things we can do. One is to try to rub away the ice on the inside of the window panes, or we may light a fire in the grate and allow the window to clear itself. Heat does quickly what rubbing may take a long time to do. When dealing with those whom you believe to be in error ormistaken, always remember that gentle humility will accomplish what no amount of bludgeoning or battering could ever do. The sun can get a man's coat off his back much more quickly than a fierce wind.
O God, I sense that the ways You teach me through Your Word are also written in me. I am only at my best as I follow Your best. Help me, dear Lord, always to follow You in the path of humility. Amen.
For Further Study
1. What does it mean to "bear"one another?
2. In what spirit should this be done?