Love and Humility

by Glenn Conjurske

Love and humility are Siamese twins, and it is scarcely possible to find the one without finding the other. I have been much struck with the fact that the description of love which Paul gives in I Corinthians 13 is in large part also an excellent description of humility. “Suffereth long … envieth not … vaunteth not itself … is not puffed up … seeketh not her own … beareth all things.” All this and more in this chapter is as good a description of humility as it is of love. The reason for this is not far to seek. Those who think too highly of themselves can scarcely think highly enough of others. Those who value themselves too much naturally value others too little. No man can esteem others better than himself (Phil. 2:3) unless he loves them. Thus the connection between love and humility is most intimate.

I have recently found an old account of a “poor, vile, black Indian,” which graphically demonstrates this, as it does also the fact that knowledge puffs up. This poor, vile, black white man finds it very precious:

“About sixty years past, a very considerable revival of religion took place, on the east end of Long-Island, and some of the Indians of that place were made partakers of the grace of life. Several years afterwards one of the natives gave the following account of himself, in his own way of speaking:

“’When me first converted, me was a poor, vile, black Indian; but me love all the Christians, and all the ministers like my own soul. Afterwards me grow, grow, grow, but me no love Christians. Then me grow, grow, grow very big; then me no love ministers. But one day, as I was in the swamp after broomsticks, I heard a voice saying, Indian, how comes it to pass, that you no love Christians and ministers? Me answer, because I know more than all of them. The voice say unto me again, Indian, you have lost your humble. On this I began to look, and behold! my humble was gone. I then go back, back, back a great way, but I no find my humble. Me then go back, back, back a great way, and then me find my humble; and when me find my humble, I was poor, vile, black Indian again. Then me love all the Christians and all the ministers, just as I love my own soul.”

Glenn Conjurske