An old godly writer named Flavel gave some wise words concerning humility, "When God intends to fill a soul, He first makes it empty; when He intends to enrich a soul, He first makes it poor; when He intends to exalt a soul, He first makes it sensible of its own miseries, wants, and nothingness."
In 2 Corinthians 4:7, Paul wrote, "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us." The term "earthen vessels" is a reference to the pottery used in those days. It was very brittle, and a slight blow would break it into pieces. It was generally crude, unattractive, but very serviceable. Paul is saying that the "treasure" of the indwelling Spirit is "in clay pots." Someone asked about Saint Francis of Assisi how he could accomplish so much. "This may be why," he said. "The Lord looked down from Heaven and questioned, ‘Where can I find the weakest, smallest, meanest man on earth?’ Then He saw me, and remarked, ‘I’ve found him; he won’t be proud of it; he’ll see that I am using him because of his insignificance’."
Christ said of John the Baptist, "He was the burning and shining lamp." The lamp of John’s day was a simple affair – an earthen container for oil, wick and flame. A lamp had no inherent light of its own. Also, it had to be carried by another. Further, he himself was neither oil nor the flame, only a wick. The wick is neither seen, nor noticed, until it fails to function satisfactorily. Its service is essentially a hidden one. It is the light which catches the eye.
John Bunyan wrote:
"He that is down need fear no fall.
He that is low no pride;
He that is humble ever shall
Have God to be his guide.
In John 5:1, we read, "Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place." Arthur W. Pink remarks on this verse, "He ministered without ostentation. He never sought to be the popular idol of the hour, or the center of an admiring crowd. Instead of courting popularity, He shunned it. Instead of advertising Himself, He ‘received not honor from men’."
Winston Churchill was stopped by a woman and asked, "Doesn’t it thrill you, Mr. Churchill, that every time you make a speech, the entire hall is filled with people?" "It is quite flattering," Churchill said, "but I always remember that if I was being hanged instead of making a speech, the crowd would be twice as big."
1 Peter 5:5, "And be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (David Arnold)