Next, we see true Christian attitudes reflected by an unaffected humility. Look at verse 16. “Live in harmony with each other. Don’t become snobbish but take a real interest in ordinary people. Don’t become set in your own opinions.” Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Back in Middle School, I met someone who was a “friend” to everyone! I am serious. The most “oddball” characters would come up to her and she would greet them as if they were the most important people in the world. She would never criticize or make fun of anyone, and if she saw someone else mistreat somebody, she would confront that person—then console the person insulted. She was amazing to watch.
In the early years of our marriage, by wife and I would go downtown and share the Life of our Lord with folks, and one time we witnessed the proverbial “Homeless” man. You have seen them. Dirty and disheveled clothes; scruffy beard; bad smell. He walked up to two college-aged males and asked for some money. They could not have been ruder. They shoved him away, saying, “Get away from us! You’re disgusting.” To this day, in my mind I can see them doing that. It so grieved my heart.
My new wife and I looked at each other and went up to the man, gave him a hug asked him if he had eaten anything? He hadn’t, so we took him to Wendy’s and bought him and meal. During the meal, we talked to him and found out he lived at the local shelter. After his meal, we drove him home. We didn’t get our Bibles out and start preaching to him. We just showed him some love.
He was very grateful and we offered to pick him up for church the next morning, if he wanted to go. He instantly accepted. So, we did pick him and up and he loved the service and kept coming. We lost contact with him, but had heard that he finally found a job, cleaned himself up and even had his own place. The Lord can do wonderful things if we will step out and demonstrate love.
I think the lesson here is clear. Don’t be proud and arrogant. It is contrary to Life our Lord has given us. A true Christian must never be proud. Of course, once again, Jesus is our example. He said, “Learn from me. For I am gentle and humble in heart.” (Matthew 11:29) I don’t know where I heard it, but someone said that Jesus’ life was “a standing rebuke to every form of pride to which men are liable.”
Pride of birth and rank — Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?’ (Matthew 13:55);
Pride of wealth — “the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (Luke 9:58);
Pride of respectability — “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” (John 1:46);
Pride of personal appearance — “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him” (Isaiah 53:2);
Pride of reputation — “Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and ‘sinners.’” (Luke 7:34 );
Pride of learning — “How did this man get such learning without having studied?” (John 7:15);
Pride of superiority — “I am among you as one who serves” (Luke 22:27);
Pride of success — “He was despised and rejected by men” (Isaiah 53:3);
Pride of ability — “By myself I can do nothing” (John 5:30);
Pride of self-will — “I seek not to please myself but him who sent me” (John. 5:30);
Pride of intellect — “I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me” (John 8:28).”
If interested, you can download the entire study of The Letter to Christians at Rome