By the meekness and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you. (2 Cor. 10:1)

BEFORE JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH wrote one line of music, he scratched INJ. at the top of the page, meaning “In the name of Jesus.” When praised for his ability to play the organ he said, “There’s really nothing very wonderful about it; you have only to hit the right notes at the right moment and the organ does the rest.” This musical genius—whose religious cantatas and brilliant organ works continue to be performed three hundred years after his death—exhibited a rare humility.

False teachers in the Corinthian church challenged Paul’s authority as an apostle. They claimed the congregation did not need to listen to his teaching because he wasn’t called by God. In dealing with these lies, Paul did not lash out or defend himself; he chose the way of humility.

Our human nature tends to exalt self and put down others. As believers, we have received a new nature—the nature of Christ. Jesus didn’t rebuke His disciples when they asked for chief places in God’s kingdom. When accused by the chief priests and elders, Jesus said nothing. Following His example, when blamed or rebuked, we see no need to defend ourselves because God has promised to defend us. In conversations, we don’t talk only of ourselves; we listen. As you follow the carpenter from Nazareth, choose His way—the path of humility.

Attempt no task today before asking for divine help.

Jewell Johnson lives in Arizona with her husband, LeRoy. They have six children and nine grandchildren. Besides writing, Jewell enjoys walking, reading, and quilting.