Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Romans 12:16
A home can be a wonderful thing. For many of us, home is where we can be honest, where we’re with our family, and where all things—even the flaws—feel familiar. Perhaps most importantly, though, a true home is where we can be ourselves, in genuine humility. Such ought to be our experience in the fellowship of God’s people.
Paul’s call for Christians to “not be haughty, but associate with the lowly” is a way of calling us to treat one another like family in the household of God. Another way to translate the command “Associate with the lowly” is to say “Be willing to do menial work.” Both translations are helpful; we shouldn’t be so proud that there are either people with whom we won’t associate or jobs we refuse to do.
In the secular world, respectability is measured by status, significance, influence, wealth, intellect, and so on. This must not be the case among Christian men and women. Indeed, one of the distinguishing features of God’s people should be that characteristics such as materialism, pride, and slander, which mark the wider community, are no longer prevalent.
How could we dare give in to the broader culture’s influence when our Lord described Himself as having “nowhere to lay his head” and as being “gentle and lowly in heart” (Matthew 8:20; 11:29)? He came not to save those who are well but those who are sick (Mark 2:17). He continues to call the weak of the world to shame the strong (1 Corinthians 1:27). Even the apostle Paul, that eminently qualified teacher of the law, deemed his entire resumé rubbish in order to gain Christ (Philippians 3:8).
Jesus is building a church, and the church He’s building is the family of God. Our Father is in heaven, our elder Brother is reigning, and our brothers and sisters are worshiping with us. Next time you’re with your church family, take a step out of your comfort zone and get to know a member of the family you don’t normally interact with. Next time you’re asked to do a job or take on a role that you would not naturally be drawn to, ask yourself if this is an opportunity to be humble and not haughty. After all, our elder Brother did not consider a cross beneath Him, and He died there to raise up lowly sinners like you and me. The ground is level beneath His cross. And so His family is to be marked by humble love.
Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotional by Alistair Begg, published by The Good Book Company. Used by Truth For Life with permission. Copyright © 2021, The Good Book Company.